What do you know about the Masons?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DaveyR, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    A recent post by Madame Zora in the "Did Bush steal the 2004 elections" led me to this.

    Very little is known about the Masons by non Masons - I am sure that others are intrigued as much as I am.

    Tell us what you know about them in this thread.
     
  2. Gisella

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    Yeh, they are very mysterious and that big open eye symbol and stuff...
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    They make excellent jars.
     
  4. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I should have said in my post - I don't mean those guys who build bridges and carve Gargoyles etc etc. I was referring to members of Masonic Lodges.
     
  5. Ethyl

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    They're also known as "Freemasons". Shriners are an offshoot of Masons who do much charity work. The reasons for its existence appear honorable and humanitarian, but the tenants are still vague causing speculation about their reasons for existing. Interesting article below:

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/050905/5masons.htm
     
  6. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Thanks for the link - just speed read it will go through it carefully tomorrow.
     
  7. JustAsking

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    Freemasonry is a fraternal organization formed in the 1700s in England. They various lodges around the world are affiliated with each other (for the most part) an they have a shared moral and metaphysical ideals and—in most of its branches—by a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being.

    My grandfather was really into Freemasonry, but I was too young to really learn much about it. My information comes from later in life.

    There is a lot of mythology about the Masons because during the height of the British Empire and the formations of the American colonies, a lot of powerful politicians were members. So they are ripe for lots of conspiracy theories.

    These days, most people join the Masons for the same reason they would join other fraternal organizations; mostly for the social and business networking advantages.

    They have to progress through various "degrees" of membership status by studying bizzarre and arcane Masonic philosophy. There are still a lot of secret ceremonies to promote Masons through the ranks, but I think they like to downplay that these days.

    Some would classify their basic theology as "Deist", but these days they are even less dogmatic than that. They just refer to the Creator as The Great Architect.

    I went to public "installations" when some people were promoted when I was a kid, and loved the pageantry and ceremony what with the people wearing capes and swords and stuff. I mostly remember the potluck suppers and the Christmas parties, though.


    Oh yeah, they have a cool logo which has a compass (the kind that draws circles) and the square that form the same symbol that was talked about in The Davinci Code. Ironically, they didn't mention that in the movie.

    They would like you to think the organization is thousands of years old and holds important secret metaphysical secrets. The rumor is that Alexander The Great was a Freemason, but that came from Kipling's story The Man Who Would Be King. Its not really that old.

    I think its still only open to men, but there is a women's organization called Daughters of The Eastern Star. Teenage boys join The DeMolays, and girls join Rainbow Girls.

    Have I put you to sleep yet? I have a tendency to do that.
     
  8. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Not at al JA - very interesting - thanks for that.
     
  9. Warlock

    Warlock New Member

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    Nice post JA,
    I'm a Mason, very interesting post and very close on the fact too.
    Nice Forum you people have here, just found it about 1/2 hour ago.
    I am also an active member of other like forums, but please don't ask what others. I am not here to draw members to any other sites, I am here to learn and share.
    I have been at pe since last October 14th with some very good gains.

    Warlock
     
  10. Amazoncongo

    Amazoncongo New Member

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    I also have had a deep interest in secret societies or fraternal orders that have secrets. To get a wider glimpse there are many books on the Freemasons but lately on this history channel and national geographic, they have been many specials about them. I saw 3 this week. Also the knights templar is another group sometimes woven together with the masons. Check out your listings for national geographic, and history channel this weekend. Also Discovery. I know Masons "will not" tell their secrets but it is of a curious interest to find out what they are. Also I have read that the beggining Masons do not know as much as those in a higher order. I do know there is a MAJOR connection with ancient Egypt. If you look at the head masonic temple in washington D.C it is all in egyptian decor and symbols. You can look here for a web tour. I have also heard it is meant to be a setup of Solomons temple.

    http://www.gwmemorial.org/Tour/RoyalArchRoom/RoyalArchRoom.htm
     
  11. sares

    sares New Member

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    my father and brother are masons. this is absolutely the case -- it is a very family-unit centric organization, in fact before my family members were accepted, a representative met with my mother and my sister-in-law to make sure they were okay with the men joining up.

    obviously I don't know every single thing, but there is a lot of memorization and recitation and role-play of stories, and that is about as spooky to me as putting on a passion play at christmas. lots of organizations have "rituals" like that.

    free passage to any masonic lodge worldwide, and an international community of brothers, that's what it really seems to be about. my brother, who is not quite 30, says you see these lovely old gents there, and you realize that after their wives and families have passed on, the masonic community is what is keeping them alive.

    that, and stealing elections
     
  12. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Yes, entirely consistent with enlightened thought of 16th Century England, perhaps supporting the story of a 1700s origin for the Order. William Blake's very strange allegorical portrait of Newton as a divine geometer is perhaps characteristic of the age (although Blake himself considered the idea of a rationally-ordered clockwork universe, one requiring no spontaneous miracles, to be spiritually depressing).
     
  13. Snozzle

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    My grandfather was a Mason and we had some of his beautiful insignia until it was stolen. I remember a little block of translucent white stone with Hebrew letters in a circle and a gold compass (as in drawing circles) against a square.

    I'm told the degree of openness of the compass is highly significant.

    They grew out of craft guilds, and they have some strange ramificaitons, such as the Rosicrucians and the Theosophical segment, which emphasis the mystical beliefs. Many pretend to be a lot older and more powerful than they are.

    I know they claim to go back to Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) times, and "Tubal Cain" (an OT character) is one of their potent codewords. There are terrible oaths about having your tongue torn out and buried between high and low tides if you reveal any of their secrets. There are secret handshakes (usually invovling placing the thumb or one finger in an unusual place) and expressions that indicate masonry, such as "on the level" and "on the square" and referring to God as The Great Architect. One of the features of Masonic meeting rooms is a chequered patch of floor (or sheet of tiling) about the size of a hearthrug, the squares about 15cm sq.

    There's lots of memorising of ritual as you rise in the ranks. There are 36 (at least in some orders) but then there are 36 more secret ones, and so on. There are rituals involving rolling up one trouser leg, riding on a goat, etc, and some resemble college hazing, in that you're blindfolded and led to believe something painful, disgusting or humiliating is going to be done to you (eg touched with red hot iron), then something completely different (touched with ice) happens.

    There are some famous cases of people using, misusing, or trying to use or misuse the power of masonry, eg making strange signs to the judge in court cases. I think the Dreyfus case may have been one and the case of Roger Casement another.

    Any generalisation about them is likely to be true in some places and false elsewhere, so please don't say "I'm a Mason and that is not true."

    The Masons I have known have none of them been terribly bright. I think most people of average intelligence would find it more boring than it was worth. Others are in it for the financial benefits.
     
  14. JustAsking

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    Welcome to the boards, Warlock.

    Amazon,
    I think the connection with Egypt is contrived. Freemasonry was formed at the height of the British Empire when they had a real fascination with Egypt. Their mythology claims that they are the masonry guild who built Solomon's Temple. But I am quite sure they are not really that old.

    The Knights Templar, however, is as old as they say they are. They date back to the crusades.

    Many of our founding fathers were Freemasons.

    Also, Joseph Smith was a Freemason. Its interesting that if you visit the new Mormon Convocation Center in SLC, the decor is very much like a modern Masonic Temple. I had some business with a company in SLC and got a great tour from some LDS guys who I was doing business with.
     
  15. madame_zora

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    I have only skimmed the surface myself, but this article looks fairly unbiased and informative. It skims several theories, but asserts that it is nearly impossible to know much conclusively. I'm going to read it more in depth when I have more time.

    http://www.crystalinks.com/freemasons.html
     
  16. husky14620

    husky14620 New Member

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    Although modern Freemasonry was established in England (where women can now join lodges), and all of the North American lodges are off-shoots, though many no longer recognize the Lodge of England (because of the women issue), Freemasonry traces its roots to the Knights Templar (from a leader of which DeMolay takes its name) and earlier. The history from which their beliefs come does date back to Solomon's Temple (and its Stone Masons and Architects). They are non-denominational, though a belief in "the One God, Creator of all things in Heaven and Earth" is required. As such, they would be truly considered Deist. The Roman Catholic Church frowns upon them, as the Knights Templar refused to turn their wealth and power over to the Church during the Crusades, were excommunicated, and executed. The Church established the "Knights of Columbus" as a Catholic alternative to the Lodges. When I was young, Catholics were regularly excommunicated for joining a Lodge, today it depends on the parrish priest and the bishop in the diocese.

    George Washington was a 33rd Degree Freemason, the highest pinnacle a Freemason can hope to achieve, as were many of the members of the Continental Congresses, the signers of the Declaration on Independence, and the signers of the Constitution of the United States.

    Actually, the women's group mentioned is the Order of the Eastern Star. In addition, The Order of the Amaranth and the White Shrine of Jeruselem are for the women. And although the tenents of the Order of DeMolay are similar to Freemasonry, and many DeMolay members become Freemasons, the two are not OFFICIALLY linked. DeMolay chapters may be sponsored by Masonic Lodges OR by a group of "Senior" (Adult) DeMolays. One of DeMolay's frequently touted mantras is "DeMolay is run by DeMolays, not Master Masons." (It's BS; the chapter "Dads" [sponsors] really have final say on everything.)

    In addition to Rainbow (also not OFFICIALLY affiliated), there are Triangle Girls, and another group whose name I can't remember.

    I know these things because I was a DeMolay, until they had issues with my coming out. My father, brother-in-law, mother, sister, paternal grandfather and grandmother, and her brother (my great-uncle) have all been involved with one or more of the organizations. In fact, all but my grandfather have been high-mucky-mucks in their respective groups, mostly multiple times. I know several Gay members of Masonic Lodges, some openly Gay, though MOST, NOT ALL Lodges frown upon Gays and Lesbians, which is one of the reasons I never joined (to my grandmother's great disappointment).

    Husky
     
  17. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    our basketball team was pretty good this year.
     
  18. JustAsking

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    husky,
    Thanks for the firsthand account. But I didn't know they had basketball teams. No wonder they have that really nice checkered floor.
     
  19. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    I'm one, as are my father and brother, and at least one of my uncles. Freemasonry is the abode of buffoons, dullards, and men of rough character. It really doesn't deserve another look from a normal, civilized person who actually has a life to lead.

    And as far as our "secrets" go, there are none. All the things that used to be considered secret you can read on the internet. I mean ALL of them.
     
  20. Amazoncongo

    Amazoncongo New Member

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    Not to long ago, when I was doing some research on Babylonia, Assyria,mesopotamia, and Sumeria there was this carving in a wall in this book and I also saw it on a documentary where they were some of the first to give the handshake. You can see this on this carving. I cant remember which area but there is definately some ancient knowledge there. Also in some old temples and tombs in egypt, you can find sybols that are used in masonry. And NOT JUST THE PYRAMID traingle symbol. I guess like any group of friends who want to keep a secret they can lie to cover up whatever the real knowledge is. Evidently their secrets are major because in 1982 a man named Roberto Calvi was murdered in the styele of the masons if a traitor was to reveal their secret. Also in the 1800's there was this event called the Morgan affair when this man was going to publish a book on all the secrets he learned in the masons but they killed him. WELL.. He was never seen or heard from again is the official story, but I doubt they sent him on a caribbean vacation. The link below is about Roberto Calvi.

    http://freemasonrywatch.org/endto_mystery.html
     
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