to think that Freemasonry should not be allowed to exist?

(573 Posts)
StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 14:59:18

... or that members should declare their membership - especially those in positions of power - police, SS, politicians etc?

I am just flabbergasted that this is allowed in this day and age. Take a look at the JS scandal and the potential involvement of the masons, and surely no-one can dispute that this old boy network is dangerously shady.

Can anyone explain to me what it is really for, and if membership to any secret society is justifiable in this day and age?

AIBU?

(Namechanged as have been discussing on FB)

TotallyTwitteredWithFour Fri 02-Nov-12 12:03:41

Savile was a Freemason Gerry McCann is a Freemason.

I suppose if you see what you like you are free to join too.

OneMoreChap Thu 11-Oct-12 19:56:29

OhDearSpareHeadTwo

Masons is different in that they are a lot more secretive about what goes on in their meetings and you have to be invited to them

... technically, you have to ask - we're not meant to invite you. Which makes a bit of a bish of the don't tell anyone idea, but I know what you mean...

WkdSM Thu 11-Oct-12 17:11:35

Sorry - cut short - RL emergency!! (Dog out in rain.....)

My point re bribes was this -

If you are saying that the person who covered up etc did it because of their vows as a freemsaon to help a brother then they would not need a bribe etc.

If the took the bribe and did whatever then I would say they did not do it soley because of their vows as a freemason, but in spite of them because they are breaking the law and what they have done is bad for themselves and other people (paraphrasing one of the vows).

Secrecy in meetings - the rituals (in which discussion of outside business is strictly prohibited) are the bits we don't share - at the dinners etc afterwards there are usually waiters / waitresses / bar staff around.

I agree being head / chair of any voluntary organisation is hard work - like herding cats I always think

WkdSM Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:05

Agree - links please as I've googled etc and can't find any official statements.

I notice you ignored my point about networking.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Thu 11-Oct-12 16:45:59

How's it different from Rotary? Isn't that a worldwide organisation, too? Do they disclose mandatoryily all memberships? I don't know, not being a Rotarian.

Yes, we are worldwide. I am president of my club, a position for which I worked very hard and which comes with plenty of work, duties and "grief". Masons is different in that they are a lot more secretive about what goes on in their meetings and you have to be invited to them (you can invite yourself to your local rotary club but you can't just turn up).

I do not have to disclose my membership of Rotary and we do not publish our member list outside our own membership.

OneMoreChap Thu 11-Oct-12 15:45:48

badinage
At organisational level because of the requirement to help a fellow 'brother' and that organisation's secrecy about its members and how they 'show out' to eachother.

You mean an organisation doesn't publish membership lists? BFD.
There's no obligation to, so why should they.
The "secret Masonic recognition signs" are so well published it's amusing, and the most frequent way you'd recognise a Mason, tbh, is by recognising him from when you've met him in the past.

It is also an organisation that provides powerful men with a network of other powerful men. Power corrupts.

Nice soundbite, but no evidence from the House of Commons enquiry. Cite for Freemasonry being that sort of organisation - from an official investigation?

adeucalione Thu 11-Oct-12 15:36:34

Can you provide some links please badinage, I am interested but can't find anything reliable via google.

badinage Thu 11-Oct-12 14:56:16

Really? You can't think that people who are willing to turn a blind eye to a fellow freemason's activities (and have the power to do so and persuade others to) might expect to get anything in return for their compliance? Such as a bribe, a promise of reciprocal silence about their own activities, or a share of the proceeds?

John Stalker isn't a conspiracy theorist bloggist, he was the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

The Senior Investigating Officers for the most recent investigations into the Stephen Lawrence and Kenneth Noye cases weren't either.

Neither were the investigators into the Jersey Care Home abuse scandal.

All of them have publicly acknowledged that freemasonry hampered their investigations and led to endemnic corruption and criminal acts continuing.

WkdSM Thu 11-Oct-12 14:24:33

All the JS coverage seems to be about the BBC covering it up / ignoring it. There are probably Freemasons in the BBC but not sure they have been proven to be implicit in any cover up BECAUSE they are freemasons. Esther Rantzen has said everyone was guilty of ignoring rumours.

I don't know much about the other cases you mention - but having googled them with a link to freemasonry the assertion that freemasons were involved seems to come from mainly blogspots etc - some of which have a definite polictical agenda. The thing I have noticed on some of them (especially the Noye case) is that bribes are mentioned - if freemasons were doing something illegal because of the vows we have taken surely we would not require a bribe to do so. I fully accept that 40 or 50 years ago the police were probably more corrupt than now - but I don't think it all comes down to freemasonry. Although it did turn up in a Life on Mars episode I think so it must be true!

I also contend that 'powerful men' probably have a much better network with other 'powerful men' than freemasonry could ever provide. You would probably say my DH is a powerful man because he is Chief Exec of a financial institution. However, his business networking is far more effective outside lodge than it ever would be within Lodge. Think business conferences, collective meetings with the FSA, social events such as Ascot, Henley or the Summer Exhibition. His current head of the Lodge is a supermarket worker (in a supermarket MN's regularly say they would not go near).

It appears that no matter what people within freemasonry or those closely connected with it say, other people will not believe them.

Freemasons are an excellent modern day bogeyman for the press and maybe others with an ax to grind. Wave the word around and there is a knee jerk reaction.

badinage Thu 11-Oct-12 13:15:29

Both.

At organisational level because of the requirement to help a fellow 'brother' and that organisation's secrecy about its members and how they 'show out' to eachother. It is also an organisation that provides powerful men with a network of other powerful men. Power corrupts.

Any individual can be a criminal or corrupt in public office, but if he thinks that his membership of an organisation is going to help him continue being criminal and corrupt and cover it up (as has been repeatedly proved and alleged) then that organisation is also culpable.

OneMoreChap Thu 11-Oct-12 12:54:44

Has Freemasonry?

Or have individuals who were Freemasons?

badinage Thu 11-Oct-12 12:52:21

Has the Rotary club, Women's Institute or Association Golf been linked to crime and the business of covering it up? For years? Did any of those clubs hamper the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation (as admitted by the police), the Jersey care home investigation, the shoot-to-kill policy in NI and John Stalker's investigation of it, the cover-up of phone hacking and now Jimmy Savile and his vile associates' rape of children?

It seems absurd to have to point out the difference, but there it is.

OneMoreChap Thu 11-Oct-12 10:46:57

Turniphead1

On balance therefore I'd favour disclosure of an organisation of this scale

Np prbllem with that, just make it the law and it will be complied with

(which IS different to a golf club, Rotary etc etc)

How's it different from Rotary? Isn't that a worldwide organisation, too? Do they disclose mandatoryily all memberships? I don't know, not being a Rotarian.

The privacy arguments just don't swing it for me.

But they do for others, so until it's the legal requirement...

Aboutlastnight Thu 11-Oct-12 10:44:54

The whole thing makes me think of slacks and golf, suburbia and village politics. It makes me shudder.

An ex invited me to a 'mason's wives' dinner and had a sudden vision of my life which made me want to run screaming. Reader, I dumped him soon after.

Turniphead1 Thu 11-Oct-12 10:36:52

I have never really thought about Freemasonry before reading this thread. Other than having an innate distrust of it due to its association (correct or not) with sectarianism in the Northern Irish lodges. The earlier link to main United lodge website revealed - very well written from a PR perspective and also that four Grand Masters were RC. But not in any Northern Irish lodges I'll bet. There are two lodges that are associated with my kids school which I find very bizarre.
My instinct is that the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes posited on this thread (evil scheming back-scratching society that uses positions of power to allow fellow masons away with all aspects of criminal behaviour and corruption in public life etc versus benign little boys club filled with charitable good-will and dancing about in sashes). But there is no real way of ever knowing.
On balance therefore I'd favour disclosure of an organisation of this scale (which IS different to a golf club, Rotary etc etc) by anyone who exercises decision making powers out of the public purse. The privacy arguments just don't swing it for me.

Qwertyytrewq Thu 11-Oct-12 07:57:25

And I agree the obtuseness on this thread is illuminating.

I don't know a lot about something, but this is the way it is.

I know about something and this is how it is.

No it isn't, no it isn't. I'm right. My friend told me.

Qwertyytrewq Thu 11-Oct-12 07:50:04

I do wonder why posters write they're hiding the thread, rather than just hiding the thread.

It does make me think they've lost the argument, but I'll have one last pop.

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 23:35:53

MissWing
he purpose of the freemasons is that no son (or daughter?) of a freemason would ever be unemployed.

Odd that, as I've met quite a few unemployed Freemasons.

^ it's backscratching, nepotistic (new word do you like it?) jobs for the boys.^

Really?

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 22:28:41

I have found the obtuseness on the thread illuminating!

Also hiding this now, the masons have nothing new to add.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:23:44

Yes, Cote, we know that. You seem to be the only poster who can't quite grasp that people sometimes use slightly less-accurate words and feel confident that others will understand what they meant.

Esoteric doesn't specifically mean secretive, so secretive would be the term most of us intended. I have esoteric knowledge about programming, but I'll explain it to anyone who doesn't mind me boring them ... because my knowledge is esoteric, but I'm not secretive.

I do hope you've managed to understand this as I'm hiding your nitpicking the thread now.

badinage Wed 10-Oct-12 22:23:31

It's no more implausible than millions of grown men spending hours together in dressing-up clothes, bearing their breasts to one another, using nonsense phrases like 'The tongue of good report' and offering to have their throats cut if they tell any sane people their secrets......

CoteDAzur Wed 10-Oct-12 21:29:06

Really. You think that millions of grown men would spend hours together on a regular basis for decades, so that if their boys need a job one day, some sort of job will be found for them.

MissWing Wed 10-Oct-12 20:56:43

both my grandads were freemasons. My maternal grandpa invited my dad to join (which he did not). the purpose of the freemasons is that no son (or daughter?) of a freemason would ever be unemployed. it's backscratching, nepotistic (new word do you like it?) jobs for the boys.

CoteDAzur Wed 10-Oct-12 20:06:16

garlic, rubber, and others - The distinction between a secret society and an esoteric one isn't just an exercise in pedantry.

*Secret society*: It will not have a website. You won't know what it's about because nobody will tell you. You will not know where they meet, what their regalia, clothes, symbols etc look like. You will wonder if it even exists. (ex: Illuminati)

*Esoteric society*: It has websites with information, pictures, and even their address. There are zillions of books on its history, development, aims etc. You would know what it's about if you read a book. You know it exists. You know some members who say they are in this society.

The only thing you don't know is what its members see, hear, learn, and work on as they move through the levels of this society. Just as an outsider isn't told any of it, a Freemason isn't told what happens in degrees above his, either. That is the "esoteric" part of the society.

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 09:34:43

At nearly 600 posts in the thread if I could agree with what WkDSM says:

If there really is an issue with Freemasonry pass another law about it. Until 1967, Lodges had to provide to a local authority a list of members; 2000-2009 Judiciary details had to be provided. A parliamentary enquiry found no evidence of corruption.

Why should people disclose something that there is no obligation on them to disclose? Freemasonry has no objections to members voluntarily disclosing their membership - it's compulsion that many have issues with.

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