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Then there are the optional degrees. Their initiation rituals take the form of short plays starring the candidate and other lodge members. The playlets deal with incidents from the mythic history of the Masons, such as the building of King Solomon's Temple and the murder of Temple architect Hiram Abiff. These initiations cost the candidate about $150 a pop, so any thirty-second-degree Mason has dropped over $4,000. Once a Mason has completed the twenty-nine optional degrees of the Scottish rite or the six optional degrees of the York rite, he is eligible to become a Shriner -- which means still another initiation.
Depending on the whim of the other lodge members, initiations may include a set of burlesque tests to prove a candidate's mettle. These blend sophomoric practical jokes, soft S&M, an an electric carpet (the latter "just the item for initiations," touts the Lauterer catalog, at $4.75 a square foot; jump spark battery extra). Lauterer's INITIATION STUNTS booklet describes over thirty tests judged suitable for fraternal orders, of which the following is a sample. In all cases, candidates are blindfolded.
Here's how the Masons keep out the wimps:
"Chewing the Rag"
A lodge member criticizes two candidates for speaking: "They both talk too much and I fear they will someday betray the secrets of our brotherhood." As a lesson, the candidates must "chew the rag." The member says that he has a six-foot length of string with a raisin tied in the middle. Each candidate gets an end of the string. The member instructs the candidates to chew the string from their respective ends: The one who gets the raisin will be excu sed from "The Test of the Drowning Man." They chew. The "raisin" is really a piece of candy coated with Epsom salts. There is no "Test of the Drowning Man."
Lodge members strip a candidate and put a skirt on him. As Oriental music is played, he is forced to dance on the electric carpet. This is one of several uses of the carpet, all of which are deemed more effective if the candidate does not know about the carpet. The electric-shock sensation is not immediately identifiable as such, or so the semiwarped reasoning goes. Members may warn the blindfolded candidate to "step high" to avoid
burning desert sands, barbed wire, or snakebites.
"A Trip to the Moon"
A member raps his gavel and orders all to be seated. A second member replies that there is no seat for himself and one of the candidates. They are told to sit on the floor. They sit on a spread blanket. As soon as the candidate is seated, the second member steps off the blanket. The candidate is told to sing a song. The lodge members protest his singing and demand that he be punished. All quietly grab the ends of the blanket and toss the candidate in the air.
"The Barber Shop"
A member feels a candidate's chin and calls for a barber. The "barber" lathers the candidate, getting foam in his mouth. He shaves him with what feels like a very, very rough blade. It's a shingle.
Two candidates are selected for a boxing match. Belts are strapped around their waists. A six-foot rope connects the belts so that candidates do not wander blindly off. The boxers are given gloves. Unknown to the candidates, a member also puts on gloves and gives them occasional jabs from unexpected directions.
"Tu g-of-Wa r"
Two candidates or groups of candidates play tug-of-war. An unseen member sets the rope afire in the middle. It burns in two, and all fall down – on the electric carpet, if desired.
"The Thirst" "
This neophyte has asked for a drink of water," a member says. Another member replies that there is no water. "Then we must make water," says the first. Several members urinate in a bowl, making sure that the candidate hears. "It is ready," says a member. "Drink, and quench thy thirst." The candidate is handed a bowlful of warm water and forced to drink it.
This is just a forced pie-eating race, with the candidates' hands bound behind their backs. Other gustatory stunts involve making the blindfolded candidates eat various non- and quasi- edible materials: INITIATION STUNTS suggests ginger ale containing frankfurters and toilet-paper squares.
A candidate is told that he must possess three essentials to be a member: keen vision, a sensitive touch, and an acute sense of smell. An egg is placed in his hand. "What is in your hand?" he is asked. The candidate replies, "An egg." "Correct. Now to test you r sense of smell – is it a good egg or a bad egg?" The candidate answers. "We'll see if you are correct," the member says. He crushes an empty eggshell on the candidate's head and pours some water on it. He rubs the "egg" in the candidate's hair. Another member evil- smelling substance under the candidate's nose.
"The Trained Dog"
A candidate is told that he must meet Fido, the trained dog. An authentic dog is brought in. "Fido snarls at neophytes and sometimes bites them in the calf of the leg," a member warns. Another pinches the candidate's leg. The dog is placed in the candidate's lap. The initiation ceremony proceeds with another candidate so that the first believes that attention has shifted from him. A member sneaks up on the candidate with the dog and trickles some warm water in his lap. He may also hold a smell bottle under the
candidate's nose. "Naughty Fido!" all scold.
A variation is the "Bung Hole Test," a standard feature of Shriner initiations. No dog is required. Two blindfolded candidates are directed to opposite ends of a barrel or large metal cylinder lying on its side. They are told to crawl into the barrel or cylinder. The candidates bump heads in the middle. Outside, a lodge member yelps like a dog. Someone sprinkles warm water on the candidates' faces through a hole. A member yells, "Get that dog out of there! It just pissed in his face.!"
"The Sacred Stone"
The candidate is told that a "sacred stone" is near his feet. He must make a sign of deference by bending over and placing his forehead as close to the ground as possible. When the candidate bends over, a member paddles
him with a paddle containing an exploding cartridge. "The Little Rose" test is the same thing, only the candidate is told to pick a flower.
"The North Pole"
Candidates are forced to climb a greased pole while members paddle them. Afterward, a member hands a candidate a piece of ice: "Here is your share of the North Pole. Hold on to it as long as you can, and pass it on."
"Molten Lead Test"
A member warns the candidate that the next test may be dangerous if not performed carefully. Proof of a candidate's courage and faith in the order is required, the member explains. "Is the lead good and hot?" he asks
another member. "Yes, red hot," he replies. "If you are not a coward, you must plunge your hands into a caldron of red-hot molten lead," the member tells the candidate. A large pot is set before the candidate. It contains any reasonably humane substitution for molten lead. If the candidate refuses to put his hands in the pot, the others force him.
Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
Lucifer, I recognise and respect the effort you put into your posts but I don't think you've achieved what you intended to do. I think you wanted to show the world how evil and corrupt the freemasons are, yet, to me you've just shown them to be a group of people who are close friends who are out for a laugh... In your efforts to discredit them all you've done is make their fraternity more appealing!
Ihave one or two really close friends, and yes one of them is a master mason. The idea of having a whole lodge full of good friends who will go out their way for me is, to me at the very least, a good thing!
Lucifer, please, just for me, reveal to us all what your true incentive is on these threads because the more you inult and throw insults at the masons the more I can't help but think that you aren't telling us the full story. You have had a bad experience with these guys, I think. Why not tell us the truth behind what powers these attacks?
I would really be interested to hear that story...
Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by Lucifer777
Yeah, this site is credible. [/sarc] "How to Crash the Freemasons". Yeah, these guys are going to be unbiased and tell the truth. Laughable. Still doesn't answer my request. This isn't from a ritual book. It's some anti-Masons opinion on Freemasonry. Not fact.
Actually in reference to the Lodge (meaning Craft Masonry) there are no optional degrees. Now I'm sure the man was meaning the appendant (or concordant) bodies such as the Scottish Rite, York Rite, or Shriners. Neither does each degree cost $150, its usually one price for all the degrees as it was when I joined the York Rite. Maybe with the money I've given for charitable purposes and dues over 5-years (to include purchasing a lifetime membership) I haven't even given $4,000 to Freemasonry.
..there is also a fee for each degree that you do. This fee can be $150+ again depending on your Lodge.
None of these hazing activities is done in Masonry. Catalogs and anti-Masonic sites are not evidence. I'm looking forward to you showing us where in the ritual book this occurs.
Do you wish to separate the jolly good fellows from the dour sour pusses from those who seek to ASCEND TO THEIR SIDE DEGREES — but you suffer from lack of imagination when it comes to constructing elaborate hazing rituals and DEVICES? Does fake vomit, joy buzzers and a party pack of fake moustaches only produce yawns, rather than giggles, among your once-merry members? Well, look no further than Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes, in which the manufacturers De Moulin Bros. & Co. from Greenville, Ill. feature the finest electro-dropo benches, goat-shaped tricycles, electric branding irons (and much much more)!
Not only does this 1930 catalog, reproduced with marvelous 21st century machinery, provide tightly rendered pen-and-ink period illustrations and detailed product descriptions, it also has helpful how-tos and scripts to aid in the pulling of these pranks on initiates!
(WARNING: Fantagraphics Books is in no way responsible for any resultant maiming, crippling, immolation, or disfigurement resulting from the construction and/or use of devices pictured in this catalogue. At least, we don’t think so.)
Today, DeMoulin Bros. & Co. is one of the largest suppliers of costumes for marching bands in the United States. But in 1930 the company produced an amazing array of props and devices created specifically to be used in minor “hazing” of candidates in the side degrees of various fraternal organizations. The great 1930 DeMoulin Bros. & Company Fraternal Supply Catalog No. 439 is truly a holy grail for the prankster, arm-chair sadist and those interested in the some of the zanier historic arcana lurking behind that neighborhood odd-fellows lodge.
This is the ultimate desert-island book for pranksters looking for something edgy and new to dream about, Rube Goldberg-like devices created to instill terror and bemused respect, before the candidate ascends to receive a more sublime form of illumination. All in good fun, it is — or was — the American way!
Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
"it would seem to me that the Masonic king seems to be attempting to invoke that prophecy of a world where none can buy or sell without his permission or mark; " quote.
Are you now saying that the masonic king you mention is the antichrist, the beast 666?
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked. Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.
Originally posted by amike555
It totally depends. My Lodge is $100 per year, I know that there are two other Lodges in my city that are about the same, yet a third Lodge I know is $250 per year. Then if you want to go into side degrees like Scotich Rite, York Rite, the Shrine, etc. or even if you want to be affiliated with another Blue Lodge it will cost $x per year, called dues. I know that once you are in a few side degrees and affiliated with a few other Lodges the money can add up quite quick.
I forgot to add that there is also a fee for each degree that you do. This fee can be $150+ again depending on your Lodge.
[edit on 5-12-2004 by amike555]
Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
The more that this debate deepens the more I can't help but think that freemasonry is just an excuse to take money from members who, in some cases, can barely afford to spend such fees.
Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
The more that this debate deepens the more I can't help but think that freemasonry is just an excuse to take money from members who, in some cases, can barely afford to spend such fees. I've reached that point now, as a non mason, and some of you will undoubtedly point out, maybe rightly, that my views don't therefore matter, that it doesn't matter whether what Lucifer says is true or not; you are, as freemasons, having your passion and strength of character used against you by your lodges to extract money from you.
It seems to be a money raising fraternity? Is that right..?
With my hand on my heart I can't accept that anymason I've conversed with on here is evil or part of the NWO, but at the same time, I have to acknowledge that what Lucifer has posted does discedit the freemasons ( if it's true?) Butt slapping, branding, oh come on!
I think masons believe they are trying to make the world a better place, and that is to be commended, but I also think they are having their good intentions used against them by those who would charge them for their good intentions! Maybe the ordinary masons biggest enemies are those who charge them extortionate fees to be a brother!?