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Why Do Secret Societies Feel The Need to Group Together?

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posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 08:34 PM
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But everything has a secret, unknown quality until you learn or experience. Until you belong to any group, you tend to be largely unaware of the group or experience. Or, until you experience something, you can never quite grasp the true meaning.

I suggest that these "secrets" of Masonry are really no different. People have decided to demonize Masonry and create this super-duper secret thing.
But, really, it is the unknown that mystifies folks.
I also suggest that the alleged evilness of masonry is somewhat of an urban legend and bears little resemblence to the truths of Masonry.

[edit on 16-8-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 08:43 PM
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I wasn't talking about the evils of masonry. If there is any evil I am aware of it would be local lodges specifying a set of ethics to abide by. But, I wouldn't join in such a case anyway.

But there are only minimal groups where you are not allowed to know certain things unless you are part of a group. And how would I be able to gain first hand knowledge of the Masonic rituals without possibly denying myself and joining their group? I could ask someone, but that is most definitely not even close to the same. As I take there are many subtleties in the ritual, what they mean, etc.

I have heard about the evils though, and I'm not going to say that there aren't "bad" Masons nor that there are, because all in all I don't know. And I highly doubt Masons themselves know every single person in every lodge around the world, or everyone affiliated. And even people they don't know, who says to say they haven't been duped. Masons will because that is one of their tenets.

But like I said earlier, there seem to be a lot of good masons. Largely because of the actions I have read about, which speak a lot louder than mere words.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
But don't the rituals reflect a belief in a diety, or the prayers. I know they aren't merely christian, merely islamic, or whatever else, but an amalgamation of the various religious beliefs.


Not actually. Freemasonry does not amalgate different religious beliefs into a coherent whole, as our critics often charge. In reality, the opposite is true. Freemasonry (which took a cue from the Enlightenment theory that dominated the intelligentsia in the 18th century), begins its only religious viewpoint by assuming that there is one God who created and rules over everything. Freemasonry, which is philosophical rather than religious, bases its tenets of the existence of God not necessarily upon revealed religion, but the rationalistic arguments in favor of God’s existence, given by Descartes, Augustine, the French philosophes, etc.
Therefore, instead of combining different religious beliefs, it actually ignores them, claiming (correctly in my opinion) that a man’s religious beliefs are between him and God, not his fraternity.

The prayers used in opening and closing the Lodge are general, non-sectarian prayers, similar to those used in opening and closing congressional sessions. They were written in a manner in which God is glorified in them, not sectarian religion.



And I wonder most at the pervasiveness of ethics. Ethics which is so very relative it is easy to alienate many.


Indeed, but Masonry’s ethics represent those of the Enlightenment and of 18th century liberalism. The history of Masonry is based upon them. When Masonry first became popular, it was patronized by men who were highly concerned with ethics, and who adored their Creator; but these men had lost faith in the Church, which they considered organized corruption. They still felt the need to congregate together, and did so in Masonic Lodges.

Concerning one’s personal code of ethics, I would suggest someone contemplating becoming a Mason to ask himself whether he agrees with the principles of the Enlightenment. If so, Masonry would suit him well. If not, he would not likely find anything in Masonry of interest.


And then with non-Masons not being allowed to attend ritual. While Masonry doesn't seem like christianity or any other religion, it does take on the qualities of religion-in-general through its qualifications, rituals, and extent of organization.


Masonry’s rituals are fraternal, not religious in the common sense. But some of Masonry’s teachings did indeed contradict the teachings of the Church. In past ages, it was necessary for such teaching to be done in secret, to avoid persecution.
These teachings that contradicted the Church are now universally known, though. The Lodges championed the discoveries of Galileo and Newton, as well as the philosophy of Voltaire and Locke. These writers were banned on the Continent, and those in possession of their books were subject to arrest.
The introduction of metaphysics into the higher degrees, especially the Kabalah, was also considered heresy, and made one liable to be brought before the Inquisition. Today, Kabalistic philosophy is not a criminal offense; it is perfectly legal to speak of it in public, and I even saw Madonna explain some of its principles on Jay Leno recently.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Today, Kabalistic philosophy is not a criminal offense; it is perfectly legal to speak of it in public, and I even saw Madonna explain some of its principles on Jay Leno recently.


Oh, come now, Madonna (and her Mentor Rab Yehuda Berg) are not really "wise Kabbalah masters." Most actual trained scholars of the Kabbalah have denounced Yehuda Berg's nonsense. Now, I only have the greatest respect for you, ML, but please don't think that the "Madonna Kaballah" is valid and true.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 07:22 PM
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You know thats very interesting. Right when I heard the word metaphysics, my eyes lit up. Although I am not very familiar with the Enlightment, I have read Aristotle, Plato, Hermes, and some other newer philosophical scholars like Neitzche.

I do in fact believe in a god, an architect of the universe if you will, but I am still glad to here it deals with philosophical implications rather than blind belief.

I remember reading a thread on ATS the other day about how someone thought the Illuminati was based on the principles of Libertarianism. And I thought, how absurd, if that were true why would they want to establish an NWO and why would they be bad in general if they shared the same ideas of Libertarianism.

I am now starting to see Masonry in that same boat. But I could never make my own judgement unless I joined masonry and then it would still be in the context of my local lodge.

You all seem very educated and I hope that if I ever decide to join masonry I would be surrounded with such thought as yours.

But then again, I won't know if it's right for me until I read up on the enlightment.

I still though don't understand the level of organization nor the rituals and ultimately that will be the base of my skepticism.



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 08:33 PM
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First, for Bro. Alex:

I was not insinuating that I hold agreeance with Madonna, hehehe...only that it is no longer a crime to publicly hold "heretical" beliefs, and using her as an example because it struck me as funny when I watched her interview.



Originally posted by Jamuhn
I remember reading a thread on ATS the other day about how someone thought the Illuminati was based on the principles of Libertarianism. And I thought, how absurd, if that were true why would they want to establish an NWO and why would they be bad in general if they shared the same ideas of Libertarianism.


What we know of the Illuminati comes from two sources: the Illuminati members themselves, and their opponents.
According to those men who were actually members of the Illuminati (Weishaupt, Goethe, Mozart, et al.), the purpose of the organization was primarily to struggle for political and religious freedom in the state of Bavaria.
According to their opponents, their purpose was to establish anarchy and atheism.
But to understand this arcane organization, one must first consider the power of propaganda and religion. The Illuminati's primary opponents were the Jesuits, who opposed freedom of religion and political liberty because this would have wrested the power they at the time held as religious dictators. Therefore, at least to the status quo, "freedom" and "anarchy" meant the same thing.
If we ignore the obvious propaganda of the Church and concentrate on the writings of the Illuminati's members themselves, we see an organization similar to our own revolutionary forefathers (Weishaupt himself wrote that his idea of forming the Illuminati was inspired by the American secret society called the Sons of Liberty, whose membership included Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin; it is no accident that the Illuminati was formed in 1776, inspired by the American Revolution).


You all seem very educated and I hope that if I ever decide to join masonry I would be surrounded with such thought as yours.
But then again, I won't know if it's right for me until I read up on the enlightment.


For the study of the Enlightenment, I would recommend the following books:

"Candide" by Voltaire
"The Foundations of the Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics" by Immanuel Kant
"Philosophical Thoughts" by Denis Diderot
"A Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume
"Essay Concerning Human Understanding" by John Locke
"Rousseau and Revolution" by Will and Ariel Durant
"Natural Philosophy and the Principles of Mathematics" by Isaac Newton

These books capture the entire strain of Enlightenment thought, while the volume by the Durants serve as a perfect introduction (it also discusses much about the development of Freemasonry from a historical perspective).


I still though don't understand the level of organization nor the rituals and ultimately that will be the base of my skepticism.


The actual organization of Freemasonry, and its rituals, are perhaps the least understood aspects of the subject, even among Masons. Thankfully, so much has been written about them by Masonic scholars that all one needs to do is find the appropriate books.

The organization, laws, and government of Freemasonry is explained fully in Dr. Albert Mackey's masterpiece, "Jurisprudence of Freemasonry". This book elaborates on everything from the election of officers and officers' duties to Masonic legislative theory. I served as Worshipful Master of my Lodge in 2002, and as Secretary ever since, and have found this book indispensable as an officer in a Masonic Lodge.

Concerning ritual, many excellent books have been written. I would suggest "The Lodge and the Craft" by Dr. Rollin Blackmer, which elaborates on the Ritual of the Blue Lodge, as well as "A Bridge To Light" by Dr. Rex Hutchens, which summarizes and interprets the rituals of the Scottish Rite, from the 4° to the 32°.

For Masonic history, I would strongly recommend "The Builders" and "The Mens House" by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, along with "A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry" by Henry Wilson Coil.

Most of these books may be ordered from www.macoy.com...

Fiat Lvx.



[edit on 17-8-2004 by Masonic Light]



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