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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)

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:11:26

those in positions of power like police officers do have to declare if they are members

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:14:58

No they don't. It is voluntary for police.

ecclesvet Sat 06-Oct-12 15:16:45

What's the JS scandal?

I don't think the Freemasons are a secret society, given that everyone knows about them. Not everyone is a member, and thus the details of the inner workings are a mystery to some, but you could say that about any society. I don't know what goes on at a WI meeting, but I don't call them a secret society.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:17:45

Jimmy Savile.

Yes, they are a secret society. They have secret rituals and practices that members are not allowed to disclose. Not so for the WI (although my nan was very precious about their jam recipe)

LFCisTarkaDahl Sat 06-Oct-12 15:18:25

There are more stupid, ridiculous myths about the Masons than there are about the 'lizard' royalty.

It's not secret, Satanic, or weird in any way. All that was made up by some twat.

It's a charity organisation where some of the members play golf.

The 'scandal' may be just a load of old shite too.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Sat 06-Oct-12 15:18:42

Damn those WI, with their jams and sponges. They even knit poppies shock

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:19:29

Surely the misbehaviour of a few of its members does not mean that a society should not exist? There are wankers in every wall of life. If this were true there could be no organised religion, no scouts, just to name some. I bet there are members of the WI who behave badly. Can't judge a club by the actions of one of its members. I have not seen anything about involvement of the masons in the whole jimmy s thing, but if it's true that's a few people who should've held accountable, not the entire group.
My DH is a mason, he certainly would not condone what J S supposedly did

Hopeforever Sat 06-Oct-12 15:19:40

Although I'd love the group not to exist, banning it would not work as it would go more underground and more secret.

We also have a wonderful freedom to be who we are in this country that we would lose if we started banning groups like this.

There is much we don't know about the Masons, but there are books written by people who used to be part of it that revel aspects that I find concerning.

The higher up you go the worse it gets.

BackforGood Sat 06-Oct-12 15:20:30

I don't see why people are so scared of Freemasonary.
I mean, it doesn't appeal to me, I can't quite understand why any adult would want to join a club that involves dressing up and rituals, but it's not harming anyone (indeed, raises a huge amount of money for worthy causes), so live and let live I say.
Do you honestly think that people don't look more kindly on people they have any connection with - be it same school / college / golf club / Rotary / Soporitists (sp?) / Inner Wheel / choir / badminton club or whatever ? This whole concept of "Old Boy Network" being confined to Freemasonary is ridiculous and extremely niave.

Hopeforever Sat 06-Oct-12 15:20:45

LFC, if only what you said we're true that it was a group so play golf sad

SaurenLaurensonsMum Sat 06-Oct-12 15:21:11

Yes, I believe that all freemasons should be forced to declare their names especially judges, members of parliament, doctors etc and the records made public.

Ditto for any other closed societies.

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:21:11

Also, there was a really long thread about the masons recently which discussed what they are, what they do etc. there was even a mason on it explaining things. Can't link due to phone but worth a search

scaevola Sat 06-Oct-12 15:21:45

The are not a secret society. They are a society with secrets.

I didn't know declaration of membership (which is not secret) was optional. I think it should be declared for eg all public sector posts which require vetting, by all candidates for local and parliamentary seats.

But I do think its reputation is way ahead of what it seems to be - a kind of Boy Scouts for adults (uniform, badges, little rituals).

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:22:23

I doubt whether you can stop influential men ganging together and taking blood oaths to support each other no matter what. You couldn't ban it, basically. But I strongly believe they should be compelled to publish membership lists and financial accounts.

MrsjREwing Sat 06-Oct-12 15:22:54

marking my place, interesting in the js scandal.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:23:42

i was always told they had to tell but then again im basing that on what my stepdad(senior police officer) told me so it may not have been a actual had to iykwim.

i do know most of the masons i personally know do declare membership and support the current thinking, that being lose the secrecy.

SaurenLaurensonsMum Sat 06-Oct-12 15:25:15

Was Jimmy Savile a master freemason?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:25:22

I don't mind them existing per se, I mind the secrecy. I mind that world leaders and public figures are joined by a secret club - about which others don't have the right to have information. I mind that decisions are made about all kind of things that affect you and I behind closed doors, and that it can only be too easy to forge improper links.

It is not a charity organisation simply.

I was just debating this on FB witha friend, who provided me with this link to illustrate what freemasons are about. Tell me it doesn't sound odd. This is their own bloody website! "Constant advancement in understanding for the spiritual; the fellowship of good friends; the opportunity of self expression by participation in the beautiful ceremonies and ritual; sanctuary and peace within the Lodge from the rush and turmoil of the present world."

MardyBra Sat 06-Oct-12 15:26:35

I don't think they should be banned although I am definitely no fan. However, all members in a public office should be required to disclose membership imo.

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:28:07

If you don't know what it is Stick, then how can you possibly say what it is not? They give Millions to charity every year. Every event they have has a charity aspect.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:30:22

I can read their many websites, which state it is not simply charitable. They don't really say what it is though. hmm utter twaddle

MrsjREwing Sat 06-Oct-12 15:30:28

How much did js give to charity?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:30:48

So why the secrecy? What is that for?

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:31:16

You do realise you linked to an American women's Mason site, Stick? grin

Here, try this for starters: www.ugle.org.uk/how-to-become-a-mason/

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:31:41

Ah, xpost.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:33:00

grin that makes sense!

So, it explains how to become a mason (sort of) but not why. Can anyone tell me that? I'm a woman and don't like golf.

Bluegrass Sat 06-Oct-12 15:33:25

It's basically charity work, a social thing and a bit of am-dram.

GoldShip Sat 06-Oct-12 15:33:58

YABU.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:35:38

No tough, it is more than that.

Those saying YABU, do you think it is just that judges, senior police officers and politicians should belong to a secret network? Really?

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:36:07

I'm not saying that giving to charity is a right to do what JS did. I'm just sick of being told masons are evil when so many men I love are involved with them. They are not particular secret, or they would not have websites. What they do is fairly well documented. Like someone else said, I don't know what goes in at a WI meeting but that does not mean I think they prance around covering young virgins in Jam. They are like any other club, ask around and you would probably find one that would let you join (women's group or a mixed) then you can see for yourself.

I think the masons of yesteryear have changed? Did they not use to invite people to join, can you apply now like Beavers or Cubs?

GoldShip Sat 06-Oct-12 15:38:00

'Secret network' they're not slaughtering goats and sacrificing virgins you know. What would you get from knowing?

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:38:34

"Studying the Freemason organization, charity for them seems to mean manipulating tax laws so that they can give more to themselves and their friends.

"To illustrate this, if you visit the United Grand Lodge of England webpage, you can click on the "Charitable Work" link, and discover that Freemasons channel their charitable efforts through four charities. Then, if you check the eligibility requirements for each of those supposed charities, you will see that they all restrict their help to Freemasons, former Freemasons and close dependents of Freemasons."

bobblackmanmp.info/freemasons.html

I don't know how accurate this site is (it's a protest site, not Bob Blackman's) but it gives plenty of information that's easy to check.

MadgeHarvey Sat 06-Oct-12 15:38:41

You've got a proper bee in your bonnet about this one haven't you OP! Go dig a little further online and have a look at the conspiracy websites. Whether you choose to believe them or not is your lookout but I think you'll come to see that in the grand order of things the Freemasons are nothing but a bit of a club for slightly silly boys who make up for it by doing a lot for charity. Sinister? Nah - there's way way worse out there.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:39:17

Why do they often refuse to disclose their membership?

Why are there rituals that they are not allowed to disclose?

Why do you have o be invited to join?

Why do new members and their families have to be vetted?

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 15:39:19

I have always been very anti masons, along with a lot of other things. I have socialist leanings and dislike anything which appears to exclude people and provide an unfair advantage to it's members (I hate Linkedin for reasons of unfair job advantages to those who are in your groups rather than have transparent interviews etc).

However, I have managed to fall in love with someone who not only is in the army but also is a freemason. After realising that it is actually a tree house club for overgrown school boys, and seeing no hint at unfair advantage or promotion for it's members, and also the amount of money they give to charities and funds they set up to support each other, (if dp died and i was struggling they pay towards the funeral and towards our families support), i have had to conclude i was anit the myth of the masons and not the reality.

I think the problem is, it is surrounded i mystery and myth and altho i disagree with it conceptually, the reality is i have found it harmless and actually beneficial to a lot of people - not just the members. Perhaps it was set up to offer unfair advantages, and possibly a few members do continue this, but i think it has evolved into no more than a social club.

MardyBra Sat 06-Oct-12 15:40:44

The problem is: you've effectively put two questions in the OP.

to think FM should not be allowed to exist? YABU for free speech, right to assemble reasons.

to think FMs should declare themselves? YANBU imo

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:41:16

Also, how many of the lead figures in the most recent sex scandals (not just JS) are reportedly members?

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:42:38

What would you get from knowing?

I believe it would be helpful to know which influential men have sworn to uphold one another against all odds.

If it's innocent, why's it secret?

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:42:59

I've never been vetted and I'm family of a Freemason.
You actually have to kind of ask to join, you have to have shown an interest and then be invited.
You need to be invited in order to attempt to avoid having people that do things like JS was accused of joining
I would imagine most clubs will have a members criteria
I could put my hands on a book right now which lists all of the rituals etc which happen at various meetings.

McPhee Sat 06-Oct-12 15:43:16

Not this masons thing again hmm

There is nothing sinister about them or what they do

Many, in fact, hundreds of charities wouldn't exist if it wasn't for them. Period.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:43:22

"if dp died and i was struggling they pay towards the funeral and towards our families support" so, spuddy, it's not real charity work, but just a system of providing unfair advantages to the more disadvantaged of their own?

MardyBra Sat 06-Oct-12 15:44:25

Even if it is harmless spuddy, I am opposed to the masons because it is a "society with secrets". It may be harmless, so why all the hocus pocus and jiggery pokery. And quasi religious nonsense. Just join the Lions Club if you want to raise some money.

Not to mention farming off the "ladies" to a separate wing.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 15:45:16

Oh and DP wasn't 'vetted' they invited him for an informal chat. They asked if he was married, he said no, but he had a partner and a baby on the way. They asked how i felt about it, DP said i was anti it as was anti any groups which offered unfair advantages. They laughed. No checks were done on me or DP. Dp has never seen a ritual or anything like that. They all take the piss out of the reputation for doing that (i'm sure they did it in the past). Yes a lot of the members hold military and police jobs, with high level security clearance, but it is no different from them joining a group like this at work. DP has never been offered a job or offered a job out, or to cover anything up, or to scratch anyones back or seen anything like that.

aldiwhore Sat 06-Oct-12 15:45:35

I'm not sure that JS being a freemason or not has changed anything, not his crime nor the fact he 'got away with it' ... there were many people who suspected what was happening that weren't freemasons, there were many people who turned a blind eye or who worried about the loss of charity money for outing him. JS was a clever man and played on people's guilt (that if they blew the whistle 1000's of children would lose out on much needed funds).

What makes me uncomfortable is that now he's dead there's no such thing as a fair trial. He could be innocent, he can't defend himself. That angers me hugely, but it takes a very BRAVE person to blow a whistle...

Who like secret clubs? I don't, they make me suspicious. In every 'club' there's a chance of corruption and cover up. BUT if they were a more 'open' club, transparent in everything and accountable for every action every member makes, does that mean there would be no corruption? Of course not.

There have been massive failings from every segment of society regarding the JS allegations and not all of it is the fault of the freemasons. It's understandable why the women involved didn't come forward while he was alive, but it doesn't help, no good comes from claims once he's dead (not if you believe in trial, evidence, justice, innocent until proven guilty and the right to defend yourself), it's understandable why freemasons didn't 'out' a member of their club (if no one had actually made a formal complaint...)... a lot went wrong if he's guilty, not just from the freemason PoV but every sector of society.

Jimmy Saville was a master of playing people. He was smart. Personally I think he's probably as guilty as hell, but without him being able to defend himself or answer for what he did IABU to state that. Him being a mason is the smallest issue here, because many many people knew what he was doing and did nothing.

There was a thread about Freemasonry last month here which was very informative and will answer many of your questions.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:46:23

McPhee, how can you say that categorcally? Do you have any factual information about what they do?

And as for many charities existing... more charities doesn't necessarily make for a better world. There is still likely to be the same amount of money swilling around the general charity pot. It sounds as if they are simply making sure that their mates get first dibs on it.

mrsminerva Sat 06-Oct-12 15:46:32

Factoid here, Hitler really hated the Freemasonry and proscribed it and sent members to concentration camps.

I have concerns about loyalty regarding Freemasons, who do they owe their ultimate allegiance to? Each other or to their jobs? In the case of police, polticians, judges and the like this can be very dangerous to the rest of us. I also don't like the sexist nature of the organisation, women cannot join.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 15:46:46

No sorry i meant charity work AND funds for those of their own struggling (like the unions do, or working mens clubs). But they are okay as they are working class i suppose?

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:48:13

Freemasons were the first to give money to the tsunami victims. Children who go into hospital are given a teddy bear by the Freemasons (I'm not sure if it's certain hospitals, or just long term, or every child). They do not just give them to children whose Daddy's are members and hit those who are not with sticks.
And yes, they also support there own. My church is currently raising money for a wheelchair for a child who attends, is that evil too?

GoldShip Sat 06-Oct-12 15:50:21

OP it would seem you haven't really got anything on why they should, except because of your curiosity.

That isn't a valid reason why someone should have to disclose something to you

GoldShip Sat 06-Oct-12 15:50:47

Why wouldn't they support their own OP confused

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 15:50:58

Mardybra - there is no hocus pocus or anything of the sort at DPs group (which is the main one in central london). Perhaps what it was founded on but it appears to have evolved into just a club for like minded professions. Maybe it's different in the US i don't know.

McPhee Sat 06-Oct-12 15:51:14

Yes I do stick

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:51:38

And as to loyalty, part of the 'oath' is that your family, financial stability and job should be put first. Naturally there will be members who ignore that, as there are rule breakers everywhere, but that is defo in there.

Oh, id the masons for woman as well, I didnt realise, thought it was just men. I know my uncle for one, but that was about 1 million years ago.

aldiwhore Sat 06-Oct-12 15:54:53

I don't even care that its a 'male only' club... because if there is a female only club, and if they'd want me, and I wanted to join them, I don't see why I shouldn't be 'allowed'.

Even though I rather like sexual mingling... not sure that's what I am meaning to say!!

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 15:56:46

Alsi, I think you are missing my point about Savile's links.

JS was close to a great number of massively influential figures, including Ted Heath (mason), Ronnie Kray (mason), Peter Sutcliffe (mason), Denis Thatcher (mason).

There were known to be high freemasons in the exec of the BBC and social services, as well as the police.

Do you guys really think it was coincidence that people were forbidden from challenging these rumours?

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 15:59:26

I think it's more likely to be because they were powerful people for other reasons than be due to the fact that they all pranced about in daft outfits once a month.

FredFredGeorge Sat 06-Oct-12 15:59:46

If you want an open register of anyone influential and what clubs they're members of, then that is perhaps not unreasonable, but people are just as likely to do improper things because of their membership of a bridge club or S&M dungeon, or the people they went to school with as they are of the masons.

So YABU to focus on the Masons.

In the interest of disclosure, I am a member of both a running and cycling club.

mrsminerva Sat 06-Oct-12 16:00:17

Stick do you have sources for that list of people being masons?

GoldShip Sat 06-Oct-12 16:00:36

They could have also all been on the organ donor list but that doesn't mean we should name all the people on that.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:00:59

There are voting patterns on my local council that might appear to indicate that the (male) Freemasons stick together, irrespective of any other consideration.

When this is about stuff like licensing lap dancing clubs, I think it matters a hell of a lot.

In fact when I finally get my MN Blog up and running I might write about it.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:01:15

Doodle, just because they raise money for charity and give bears to sick kids (I have four of those ugly bears in this house) doesn't really explain their shady reputation, does it?

Doodlekitty Sat 06-Oct-12 16:03:39

No stick, people choosing to only look at certain members, outdated practises which have changed, and ignore certain facts about them explains what you interpret as a 'shady reputation'

And perhaps if you find the bears so distasteful you could donate them to charity yourself

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:03:54

Without giving away too much personal info Line, I used to be a councillor and know for a fact that what you say is true. Also, most local charities and organisations have council-nominated members, and usually the known masons will vote one way. There are also many suspected masons, who refuse to disclose one way or another. I have seen first hand examples of their power being abused in local politics.

hahaha this made me laugh! It is NOT a secret society. You can find out anything you want about masonic rituals by googling.

There is a whole load of nonsense about Masons.

If I were you OP I would be worrying about other things in this world than Masons!

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:05:21

I think by having a large number of members you would find coincidences. I think there is a problem with the data set you are using. The law of large numbers and selection bias make this scientifically invalid. You have taken a large group of people over a long period of time and chosen a few to prove a point and therefore to apply to the whole group.

Are you suggesting the police didn't arrest Peter Sutcliffe earlier because he was a mason?

Im sure the Masons now is a nice little club for men to mingle, do things like charity etc but I guess in the past if men of profession and influence only were in a club that was not talked with club handshakes (did they or is that just a rumour?) then it would naturally raise suspision.

I imagine today its a very open environment.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:08:42

That's interesting, StickMeToTheMan. I've often wondered too why lots of councillors won't say one way or another. If it's so harmless, why not admit it?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:09:19

No Spuddy.

I'm suggesting it's a bit odd that Sutcliffe (mason), who lived close to Savile (mason) murdered one of his victims outside Savile's house. Also odd that later, Savile was chosen (on what basis?!!) to be an advisor to Broadmoor, where he spent lots of time with his friends Sutcliffe and Kray. Odd.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 16:09:41

Dreams - "Why can't women be freemasons?"
Metropolitan Grand Lodge, London
"They can! Freemasonry started as a male-only movement, in keeping with the social conditions of centuries ago, and we see no particular reason to change that. But in the early 20th century women established Masonic organisations for themselves. We do not visit each other’s Lodges but they sometimes use our meeting-places. Some women Masons are even married to our members!"

You can be a woman freemason but it only gives you access to the women's mason network, not the men's, apparently. Oh, and you can even marry a Mason! Gosh! grin

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:10:12

But Linerunner, isn't it also likely that those who are in the same club also have like minded ideas about other things. For example if i was in an all womens socialist club, as well as being on the council, which also happened to have other members of the club as councillors, that without any orchestration we would also vote the same way on matters?

The point with all clubs/networks is that; like likes like, and like likes what like finds.

FredFredGeorge Sat 06-Oct-12 16:13:56

So a load of middle aged professional men on the local council who have similar views on local issues end up in the same club? That's hardly surprising is it? Perhaps if you told me the middle aged professional men and the 18 year old layabout pot heads voted identically on issues because of a secret society then I might think it surprising.

People with similar views are members of the same clubs - particularly if they're the sort of people who like clubs - which I think applies to a councillor for sure.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:14:23

No, though Spuddy.

I can't go into great detail but I could give you a fair few examples of strange decisions being made across political divides by known members and suspected members, that were quite left-field as far as everyone else was concerned. Does that make sense? confused

Although I believe they are not supposed to discuss politics or religion at lodge, I don't believe this to be the case. I am sure that many important decisions have been made behind closed doors well before proper debate commenced.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:16:12

i love a good conspiracy theory, but i just don't think the ones about the masons hold water. Unfortunately the reality is far more mundane. Makes for good copy tho i suppose. But sadly just perpetuates the myths. And they do not dress up and dance around as far as everyone i know that is in the masons tell me. Unless it's a massive cover up. Isn't it true masons faked the moon landings to cover up that the pyramids were built by aliens? ;)

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:16:54

And not just at council. I really can't illustrate this properly but I know of serious vendettas waged against local businesses, backed up by other members. I am sure this is not coincidence.

Garlic, I was thrown out of the Guides so I cant see the Masons letting me in grin

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:22:18

like groucho said i wouldn't want to be in a club that would have me as a member - such low standards!

I think it is human nature to club together, and yes i'm sure a lot of people are twats who think they are in some elite club and offer favours. But I don't buy all the conspiracies and i thin those people would be twats and find other ways to do so without joining a club which i think by and large is benevolent at best and irrelevant at worst.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:25:04

Actually quite a few of the masons I know are quite young, in their thirties, and are both employed and self-employed in a number of professions, jobs and trades. The very thing that unifies them is masonry - so they say themselves.

I just don't see why masons who are councillors don't declare it openly, as it's all so harmless and fun. The one I know quite well has told me openly that his first loyalty is to other masons.

MardyBra Sat 06-Oct-12 16:26:19

It may well be benevolent or irrelevant, but because it goes on behind closed doors, we can't ascertain that.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:30:34

That's the nail on the head LineRunner. Loyalty.

If I were a member of a tennis club and also a police inspector, and I found a tennis partner had stolen money, I would still do something about it. Would a mason? I don't know. This is the issue.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:33:09

I think that is odd Line. If someone said that to me, meaning over their family and profession i would think they were very strange. It is certainly not the case of all the masons i know.

I do see what you are saying Mardy and yes i also agree they should declare their interests.

MoreBeta Sat 06-Oct-12 16:35:41

No one has ever asked me to be a mason but have had the dodgy handshake a few times to 'check me out'.

Fact is that men of influence getting together in whatever club, society or group will tend to promote each others interests. That is what it is fundamentally about. Forget the whole mason thing. Its not important. What matters is groups of men getting together for mutual benefit.

Linerunner - I know where you are coming from. Our town is similar. It shows up in strange planning decisions mainly. No idea if it haas anything to do with masons, or just a bunch of mates who help each other.

My FIL, refused to join the masons as he was a catholic. Not sure why being a catholic made a difference but apparently it did.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:36:47

Well Stick, all the masons i know are in the police and forces and i defo know they would not give a shit whether someone was a mason if they were committing a criminal offence. They would do what they had to do.

I think the concept plays on our fears that something could be conspiring without our knowledge. I always hated the idea of it before DP was one. Then they replaced me with a carbon copy and everything is just fine now smile

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:39:45

Yes, I do accept the 'bunch of mates' thing is a big factor.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:41:04

I agree MoreBeta, at work there was a football team, only the male colleagues were invited to play. Managers were in it as well as entry level juniors. They all played then went for a drink together after once a week. The managers got to know the juniors well and discussed career stuff with them and unsurprisingly despite 'transparent' interviews the male colleagues always got internal promotions. I don't think it was machiavellian just human nature and dreadfully unfair. Which is why i don't think work should encourage these groups. However, you can't stop what people do in their own time.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 16:42:01

I'm the mason from the other thread. Ask away...

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:43:57

Why, have you got all the answers?

SaurenLaurensonsMum Sat 06-Oct-12 16:44:03

What degree are you OneMoreChap?

How old is your Mother?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:46:09

1. Which MPs are masons?

2. Which city councillors are masons?

3. Should there be a limit on the number of masons sitting together on licensing and planning committees where the attending police, licensing and planning officers, or the applicants, are also masons?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:48:39

As I asked above:

Why do they often refuse to disclose their membership?

Why are there rituals that they are not allowed to disclose?

Why do you have o be invited to join?

Why do new members and their families have to be vetted?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:49:42

What percentage of lord mayors and mayors of English cities have been masons, compared to the general population, over the past 50 years?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:51:39

Same as LR's last question but for government ministers

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:52:16

And senior civil servants.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:52:28

Stick - can you clarify what you mean by 'vetted'?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:52:36

And judges. And senior police.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:53:16

Are masons allowed to be openly gay and take their same-sex partners to lodge dinners?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:53:55

I have heard (obviously not first hand) that wives of potential members are asked a series of question prior to membership. Is this not true? I gather not fro a couple of responses above.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:54:59

Can you categorically say that you (OMC) have never suspected a high profile case being construed by masonic links?

SaurenLaurensonsMum Sat 06-Oct-12 16:55:11

Why are the masons predominately white protestant?

Was Jimmy Saville a Grand Master?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 16:56:36

Come one One More Chap, you offered us answers!

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 16:57:46

No i was never contacted. Dp just had an informal chat. They did ask if he had a family and what i thought of the them. As i said earlier DP just said i had a dim view and thought this was one of those tree house clubs which mostly men seem to be drawn to.

Part of me does wish it had been like it's reputation and more like the hell fire club. I quite fancy seeing a baboon dressed as the devil running around a church!

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 16:57:57

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 16:49:42
What percentage of lord mayors and mayors of English cities have been masons, compared to the general population, over the past 50 years?

Don't know. How many have been Catholics?

StickMeToTheMan
Why do they often refuse to disclose their membership?
Maybe they don't like nosy-parkers? No reason, you can happily disclose your membership.

Why are there rituals that they are not allowed to disclose?
'cos it's the rules, but look 'em up on line.

Why do you have o be invited to join?

You don't - and for 30 years or so you have to ask to join... you may be asked if you were interested.

Why do new members and their families have to be vetted?
They don't. The candidate will come and have a chat with the Master and some of the Lodge committee. Usually they'll be asked about family commitments, because it can take a few evenings a month.

LineRunner
1. Which MPs are masons?

Don't know. Which are members of Mensa, or play Golf.

2. Which city councillors are masons?
Don't know. Which are Methodists?

3. Should there be a limit on the number of masons sitting together on licensing and planning committees where the attending police, licensing and planning officers, or the applicants, are also masons?

Don't think so. Do you ban the number of Muslims, golf-club members, Rotarians?

^SaurenLaurensonsMum*
What degree are you OneMoreChap?

Blue Masonry, I'm a MM (but am style PM as I was Master of a Lodge)

How old is your Mother?
Erased now, but 70.
Current Lodge 180

MoreBeta Sat 06-Oct-12 17:02:35

I suspect that the majority of masons are decent people.

Unfortunatley, there are always people who will look to exploit any affiliation or loyalty to their own ends. That affiliation coudl be old school tie, golf club, football club, church, political party, trade union, working mens club... or the masons.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:02:51

StickMeToTheMan
Same as LR's last question but for government ministers
LineRunner
And senior civil servants.
StickMeToTheMan
And judges. And senior police.

Same as all the others. Don't know. Do you know how many are 7th Day Adventists?

LineRunner
Are masons allowed to be openly gay
Yes
and take their same-sex partners to lodge dinners?
if they are Masons.

Betterthedrivelyouknow Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:35

As mentioned above, there are many degrees and levels within Freemasonry. I wouldn't expect someone in the lower levels to know much more about it than we do.

Members in the lower levels are there to make it look like a harmless, grown up version of the Scouts, thereby drawing attention away from the real sinister activities higher up the organisation.

Yes, I do believe all the conspiracy theories about the Masons! Whether you believe them or not, one thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that men in high ranking 'public' roles should not be meeting in secret behind closed doors. We're talking about men who control finance, law, government policy, you can't seriously believe that no back scratching or insider trading results from this?

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:46

just for interest. From what i understand there is an anti freemason feeling among groups of christians. Some of them think it promotes homosexuality. There was recently a case of a christian psychotherapist who tried to 'suggest' masons were connected to sexual deviancy when trying to 'cure' gays.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:06:28

StickMeToTheMan
Can you categorically say that you (OMC) have never suspected a high profile case being construed by masonic links?

If you mean influenced by, no I've never suspected that. I don't think construe means what you think it does.

SaurenLaurensonsMum
Why are the masons predominately white protestant?

In this country? Look at the population.
I've known Sikh, Muslim and Jewish Masons.

Lot of black masons in Trinidad.

Was Jimmy Saville a Grand Master?

Don't know.
StickMeToTheMan
Come one One More Chap, you offered us answers!

What are these, Scotch Mist?

MrsjREwing Sat 06-Oct-12 17:06:38

who was curing?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:07:19

To be fair, OneMoreChapPerson, you did volunteer to answer questions.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 17:07:43

But Better, people have the right to have friends and you can't have different human rights for some dependent on their job. So i am unsure how you could counter this.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:10:10

No, you're right, construe was a crap choice of word. blush

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:10:37

Where you have councillors who have legal duty to determine, say, a licensing application on its own merits, but they themselves have let it be known that they have a higher sworn duty of loyalty to other masons, then I think there's a problem - but one that would at least be partly offset by full declaration of masonic membership by councillors, the officers who advise the committees, and the applicants.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:13:15

I would accept that the men I know who are masons are the kind of men who would and will join any kind of old boy network in order to get on or enhance their social standing.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:14:07

LineRunner
Where you have councillors who have legal duty to determine, say, a licensing application on its own merits, but they themselves have let it be known that they have a higher sworn duty of loyalty to other masons, then I think there's a problem - but one that would at least be partly offset by full declaration of masonic membership by councillors, the officers who advise the committees, and the applicants.

Possibly a misunderstanding.
I do owe a duty of assistance to other Masons, but there are higher priorities:

The Law of the land where I make my residence
My Family
My Business

Council business... should take higher priority than any theoretical duty to brethren.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:14:54

So, you say first loyalty has to be to family, job and the law, but not voluntary extra-curricular activities, for example parish or town council? Or other voluntary organisations?

If a conflict of interest came up between your voluntary work and your masonic loyalties, which comes first?

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:15:33

I was whinging about getting hurry-ups in less than 15 minutes grin

LynetteScavo Sat 06-Oct-12 17:16:56

How could he be Catholic and a Mason? confused

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:17:30

You can believe in any 'supreme being'

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:18:15

Yet another reason I couldn't be one. Far too arrogant to believe in something more important than me wink

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:18:19

StickMeToTheMan
So, you say first loyalty has to be to family, job and the law, but not voluntary extra-curricular activities, for example parish or town council? Or other voluntary organisations?

Where did I say job? Business.
Council work would be business.

If a conflict of interest came up between your voluntary work and your masonic loyalties, which comes first?

Mine? I'd answer the pager and go to the fire...
In general? Depends. What sort of voluntary work, and what sort of conflict?

I'd miss litter-picking to go to a Lodge Meeting; I'd go to a Governor's meeting rather than a Lodge meeting.

adeucalione Sat 06-Oct-12 17:18:36

My grandfather and father are both masons - they are both factory workers, although my grandfather used to be RAF, and as far from powerful and influential as it is possible to get. They laugh at the conspiracy theories - honestly, they love them, it makes them feel important, I'm going to show them this thread.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:20:28

LynetteScavo
How could he be Catholic and a Mason?

Not our issue.

It's why we don't say Allah, or Jesus, or God, or Yahweh...
You can also choose whatever sacred text you believe in to swear your oath.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:20:37

OK, so you are on the board of trustees for a children's playground. The board want to get rid of their groundsman, who is on of your 'brethren' and replace him with agency staff. Do you interevene?

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:21:15

What if your 'supreme being' didn't produce a text?

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 17:23:35

don't you have to believe in a 'higher power' to join AA too?

SaurenLaurensonsMum Sat 06-Oct-12 17:25:02

Thank you OneMoreChap.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:31:04

Why do some people start laughing about conspiracies I haven't even mentioned, when I ask about conflicts of interest on city councils? There are millions of pounds at stake with some of the applications that come in.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 06-Oct-12 17:34:12

I haven't got a problem with the masons, I think they are predominantly a social group made up by men who like to pat each other on the back and stroke each others egos. And that's fine, we are social beings after all.

The might have rituals, but so do Catholics, Muslims, and people from just about every religion, and even every walk of life. Look at how much people in the Olympic stadium loved being together to do something as simple as sing the national anthem, or the way we send our scouts, guides, cubs and brownies out to march together on Remembrance Day. Humans like coming together to share things.

Maybe they do feel some kind of loyalty to each other, but again, I can't see how that's much different to people from many other groups or friendships sticking together. I agree with the like attracts like comments made earlier. But I can't remember who wrote that.

StickMeToTheMan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:36:32

One last question OMC - why are you a mason? a) why did you join and b) what do you get out of it?

Betterthedrivelyouknow Sat 06-Oct-12 17:40:29

Spuddy: how do you know you haven't been vetted? You could've easily been checked out without your knowledge (police and Drs have access to lots of info about you).

Adeu: you could also ask them how they feel about being a smokescreen to divert attention from those at the top!

adeucalione Sat 06-Oct-12 17:41:20

Will do, drivel

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:42:58

StickMeToTheMan
One last question OMC - why are you a mason? a) why did you join and b) what do you get out of it?

I'm what's called a Lewis - my father was a Mason, though I never went to his Lodge which was in South America.

I joined to meet a wider range of people, fill my time, and enjoyed the ritual and structure.

I've met and "worked" with millionaires, unemployed people, doctors, teachers, nurses, the odd bobby, shopkeepers.

I've met loads of people and raised lots for charity.

Oh, in passing we don't ask for a masonic handshake before the boats we buy for the RLNI pull you out.

adeucalione Sat 06-Oct-12 17:49:49

Drivel - I asked my father and he says yes, freemasonry is divided into two groups : the average local people who join to be sociable and to do charity work, and the evil international overlords who want world domination.

Can I ask a question OMC if your still here, I just wondering if the Masons have modernised and changed the way they were from say 30 or 40 years ago, I think most people's perception of the mason being secretive and old boys network stems from the reputation they had then, I was wondering if they have actively tried to change the way they are viewed from them, if that makes sense. Thanks.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 17:56:16

DreamsTurnToGoldDust

Not changed much in 30 years - even then we had falling numbers.
We have an open attitude now - look at the number of websites!

if it isn't in the least bit 'dodgy' then how come someone I know was 'let off' a serious prison sentence ( which he fucking well deserved) because his father and the judge did some stupid little signal to each other??/

complexnumber Sat 06-Oct-12 18:10:25

Wouldn't it be nice if a few people showed a bit of gratitude to OMC for opening up and answering all questions thrown at him?

IMO some of the questions seem to be fairly hostile, however the answers have been polite, considered and to the point.

(No, I am not a Mason and have never known one)

LynetteScavo Sat 06-Oct-12 18:19:45

OneMoreChap, it may not by your (Masons) issue what religion a memberis, but I'm pretty sure the Catholic church wouldn't be too impressed with with a Catholic being a mason...and JS has a papal knighthood, doesn't he?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 18:20:35

He said, 'Ask away.....'.

Thanks OMC.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 18:25:51

Talking of which, does anyone know how much the average lodge fees are?

Latara Sat 06-Oct-12 18:31:08

There is a well known worldwide Group that is bigger than the Masons...

The Group members have secret meeting places where they carry out their terrible activities.
They have certain greetings & signs recognised only by other Group members.
Their activities are known to threaten lives; cause disease & death throughout this planet.

There are members of this Group networking in every type of private business & financial service; in the world's Police forces, Armed Forces, hospitals, school staff rooms; neighbourhoods.
Every terrorist group; criminal gang & secret service will be infiltrated by members of this group.

There will be members in your very own street or block of flats; in your local pub & in every single Court & every Council in this land. Political parties, trade unions & the media are controlled by many of the Group members.

Only a tiny handful of religious groups are safe from infiltration; but even the purest person can be tempted into the evil that is.....

Oh sorry; got to answer the phone; let you know later! smile

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:31:21

It's interesting to read this thread. Thanks for volunteering, OMC, and thanks also to those who've posted real-life instances.

I think the issue gets twisted by those who see the Masons as generating favouritism - which I'm sure it does to a degree, having started life as an exclusive trade guild - where the real problem is the high proportion of decision-makers who are prepared to abuse network relationships on a quid pro quo basis. The same people would seek out powerful networks whether this one existed or not, and would seek to set up similarly biased exchanges of favours.

Since freemasons exist and have, for centuries, counted the world's most powerful men amongst their numbers, they're the obvious network of choice for such (male) people. The fact they gravitate there and, naturally for them, seek to promote the closed favour bank, makes the Masons a great network for power brokers. If there were no freemason network, they'd be doing the same through their golf club (as, indeed, they do); their church; dining & drinking clubs or the mafia.

Every society is only the sum of its members. Outlawing the freemasons would fail, even if it were desirable. I do, however, think it would be better for the movement's image if it published details of its membership structure & numbers, finances and activities. It could, as a private club, require disclosure of its more senior members.

The fact that it still resists transparency does seem to indicate it has plenty to hide. Of course there are conspiracies! They make the world go round. But they shouldn't be allowed to determine public policies and their execution; not in this day and age. If Masons want to insist they don't exert undue influence, they should prove they mean it.

Since they won't, I draw the obvious conclusion ... and would like to see some sort of legal compulsion to disclose.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:33:12

LineRunner, only about £100 a year. You have to fork out for robes and dinners, etc, plus make meaningful charity contributions.

amillionyears Sat 06-Oct-12 18:34:38

OneMoreChap, Freemasons give jobs to other freemasons,when often other candidates are more suitable.
This is a test question.Are you going to agree.

,

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:44:35

I'm not trying to interrupt your question, amillion, as it's important.
I don't, however, think network favouritism is Always Bad.
When a friend refers a client to me, I don't tell the client to talk to some other suppliers before hiring me!
But if the friend referred a project I found unsuitable/immoral/illegal, I'd turn it down.
My friend might then be cross and stop recommending me.
If, instead of one friend, an entire group of influential people were to get cross with me, I might have to think twice before turning down distasteful work. They could destroy my life if they were very cross.
So this is where power networks get interesting ...

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 18:46:15

Better - what do you mean by vetting? checking my criminal record? WHat would they be looking for?

They never even asked DP my name but i suppose they could have had him tailed or something! Altho i'm sure they really don't give a shit and would have better things to do with their time.

amillionyears Sat 06-Oct-12 18:59:09

OneMoreChap,I will answer my own question.
The answer is yes.
fwiw,I know or know of some pretty high up ones.
1 may not have had that much influence on society,the other one definitely has.

Latara Sat 06-Oct-12 19:09:28

I'm back - sorry yes every group of people including the Freemasons is infiltrated by the Group that i mentioned.

There will be a separate clique containing several members of this Group in a Freemasons meeting room filled with other Freemasons right now... & as soon as there's a break in proceedings the members of that clique will file out of the meeting room, looking furtive...

Then, hidden away outside, the special greeting ritual of the co-conspirators will begin... usually starting with the phrase:

''Anyone got a light mate?''

Smokers. Shocking how they all stick together. wink

Latara Sat 06-Oct-12 19:13:41

If anyone on this thread hasn't read the 'THEM: Adventures with Extremists' by Jon Ronson - then i recommend it; i found it hilarious but maybe that's just me grin

Madmum24 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:17:48

My dad is one and I used to go to the lodge xmas parties which gave great pressies I never understood what it was and my dad used to say it was a special org that would look after myself and my sisters if he died.
My mum said it was the only reason my dad got his job.
Definately there is something dodgy, my dad nearly throttled me when I tried to look inside his ritual suitcase.

laikalooo Sat 06-Oct-12 19:33:41

Honestly OP, get a fucking grip and stop bleating on about things you clearly know sod all about!

Latara Sat 06-Oct-12 20:03:35

I'm getting fed up of hearing about 'conspiracy theories' from friends, social media, acquaintances etc.. especially because i'm quite paranoid anyway.

The Freemasons are a club of men who like to do odd rituals, network, gossip, do good works & can probably be corrupt at times. Like any other group of people ever! Because we are all human & that's how humans behave in groups.
Even if all Freemasons declare that they are members of that group; what about other groups??
Does every person in every job need to declare their membership of religious / political group or charity or sports club ffs??

(For example the bar at the local golf club is where all the local councillors & businessmen & other golf players from all backgrounds in my home town meet up & network, discuss what's going on locally; & maybe even indulge in some corruption because - THAT is JUST what like-minded people do!! It's normal!!)

seriously - can someone explain why this person who really should have gone to prison for a lot longer than he did, was let off with a much lesser sentence because, and this has been confirmed, the judge and his father were masons? I cannot see that as a good thing.

Latara Sat 06-Oct-12 20:20:18

but - the particular circumstance you describe is corruption; but corruption can exist anywhere in any circumstance when there are humans who are not very moral.

It may well be total coincidence that those 2 people - the judge & the person's father - were Freemasons. They also may have known each other from other situations eg. the same church, university, school, street, whatever; & yes, some corruption there may have motivated the judge.

Or, there could be a reason that the sentence was lower - you were there; but do you understand every single technical detail & legality of why & how sentences are handed down... if not then you'd be surprised at what technicalities can alter a sentence or affect the outcome of a case.

Coincidence & chance are more reliable than conspiracy theories & superstitions IMO.

McPhee Sat 06-Oct-12 20:22:35

Oh, in passing we don't ask for a masonic handshake before the boats we buy for the RLNI pull you out.

Well bloody said OMC!!

CoteDAzur Sat 06-Oct-12 20:38:19

StickMe - YABVU to even have an opinion about an organization about which you have zero knowledge, let alone call for its abolishment.

Your conspiracy theories aside, Freemasonry is not a political organization but an intellectual one. It is not secret but esoteric. Look up the word. Let a bit of light shine on that deep dark ignorance.

elizaregina Sat 06-Oct-12 21:01:58

amazing how peoples views change on something where they are an outsider, not included .....and they dont like it - to suddenly perhaps the " thing" being OK because they may have a bit of dosh thrown their way!!!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 21:04:57

fwiw its not an all boys club either ladys can join

not convinced and not stupid either but hey smile

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 21:35:35

You're wrong, Sock. There's a separate women's mason movement.

YY, eliza. Always the way, huh?!

Latara, thanks a million for the Ronson link! I've just read an extract of "Them", where he finally gets to discover there really is a Bilderberg Group and interview some members! What a fantastic story smile Will definitely have to buy the book, and his "Psychopath Test".

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 21:38:08

butisthismyname
if it isn't in the least bit 'dodgy' then how come someone I know was 'let off' a serious prison sentence ( which he fucking well deserved) because his father and the judge did some stupid little signal to each other??

Details? I suspect bollocks, which every other enquiry has shown this stuff to be...

LynetteScavo
OneMoreChap, it may not by your (Masons) issue what religion a memberis, but I'm pretty sure the Catholic church wouldn't be too impressed with with a Catholic being a mason

Don't know, and as not a Catholic, don't care.

garlicbutty provided every other group, of every type disclosed its membership. If it was the Law, of course, naturally Freemasons would obey it.

amillionyears
OneMoreChap, Freemasons give jobs to other freemasons,when often other candidates are more suitable.
This is a test question.Are you going to agree.

Easy one to answer. You'd never prefer a Mason to a more suitable candidate. It would be bad for business.

Madmum24
My dad is one and I used to go to the lodge xmas parties which gave great pressies I never understood what it was and my dad used to say it was a special org that would look after myself and my sisters if he died.^

That much is true.

My mum said it was the only reason my dad got his job.

Bollocks.

Definately there is something dodgy, my dad nearly throttled me when I tried to look inside his ritual suitcase.

Sorry, pet, your dad is/was a nana.

_________________

Hope it's helped a bit, and I'll check in again tomorrow.

FredFredGeorge Sat 06-Oct-12 21:46:33

I've got jobs before which are purely down to being a member of a club - I thought something like 50% of jobs were found through your personal network and not job adverts / job centres etc. ? Knowing Fred, and knowing that Fred is a good Carpet Weaver, is how you hear about and get the interview. It doesn't mean there's a conspiracy.

amillionyears Sat 06-Oct-12 21:47:45

OneMoreChap,it wouldnt be if it was the public sector.

And there are other places,where people are not going to know or notice so long as the freemasons they hired were just good enough to do the job.

And that answer is rubbish.It doesnt stand up to scrutiny. hmmm.
I could make a whole list of jobs and situations where your answer does not stack up.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 21:53:12

garlic i shall tell that to the provincial grand master. or perhaps you would like to phone 020 7229 2368 during office hours and tell the order of women freemasons that.

amillionyears Sat 06-Oct-12 21:58:10

On reflection,OneMoreChap, it is ok thanks.
You dont need to reply again. I will not be be changing my mind on this.

theroseofwait Sat 06-Oct-12 22:16:07

Oohhh Lord, here we go again, Freemasons are not dodgy and as my dh pointed out during the last mason-bashing thread there is a website that tells almost all anyway. United Grand Lodge of something, I'll ask him when he comes down from settling the kids.

He's been a mason for 9 years and it's only in the past year or so he has seen any type of benefit in terms of career etc. and that's only because one of his friends needed someone that does exactly what dh does as his previous model was coming up to retirement. I dare say if they'd met down the pub and not the lodge then the same thing would have happened.

Most mason's wives will probably have helped them rehearse ritual so it's hardly top secret. I've certainly done it.

That said, I was definitely vetted, although I didn't twig at the time. I can't remember the exact questions but I got the impression they were checking I had a decent profession and would support dh.

OP You're entitled to an opinion obviously but I don't see why anyone should have to justify any part of their lives to you.

theroseofwait Sat 06-Oct-12 22:21:30

The mason hath returned, look here and educate yourself.

nogreythatmatters Sat 06-Oct-12 22:31:11

Common Purpose is far more insidious and dangerous than Freemasonary.

Million of pounds of taxpayers money in these difficult times is wasted on The Common Purpose Cult.

Common Purpose " Graduates" are often reluctant to admit their involvement.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 22:57:30

... tell the order of women freemasons that.

Precisely, Sock. It's a separate organisation. Ever get invited to a freemason's Lodge on fraternal hospitality? Nope. Because you're not a freemason, you're a women's freemason.

OTOH, if this has all changed in the past year or so - and The Order of Freemasons is now called The Order of Men's Freemasons, you join each other's lodges and share meetings, etc - then I'll be corrected.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:01:23

No-one has tackled the conflict of interest issue.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 23:06:43

Eliza - Personally, as i said earlier, my opinion of it changed because before DP joined, all i had heard were the conspiracy theories, and am against anything which gives a few an unfair advantage. However, it emerged that they just seem like a bunch of guys titting about together and fund raising for charity. Nothing to do with dosh which might be coming our way - that is for those members who have fallen on hard times/for funeral expenses etc. I am not anticipating ever needing that kind of help (fortunately) - but would be glad to help someone who does.

Spuddybean Sat 06-Oct-12 23:10:03

Just out of interest as well (before i met DP) i had my wedding reception at a lodge (none of us were involved with the masons - they just hired it out), all the rooms were open and they had their trinkets and things all on show, it didn't seem like they were hiding anything at all.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:12:05

I'm talking about hearing other masons' million pound planning applications, for example.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:21:04

You're really not getting LineRunner's point, are you Spuddy? Well, either that or you're obfuscating.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:24:45

I did hear a hair-raising tale of how a lodge tried to manage a member's illegal business activities by itself, rather than by public procedure. (I won't say reporting him, since the people to whom he should have been reported were also members!) They eventually dobbed him in after he tried to defraud another member.

I'm being vague because the Mason who confided in me shouldn't have. It went on for months and months.

garlicbutty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:27:38

Nogrey, I thought Common Purpose was a leadership training institute? What am I missing?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:35:11

It is, garlic. An independent charity to promote young leadership stuff.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:38:43

garlic i have attended many other lodges as a hospitality and we have joint celebration events.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:42:39

That's lovely, but what about the million pound planning applications?

Sokmonsta Sat 06-Oct-12 23:52:53

So the JS scandal has nothing to with there are probably more high up people involved in his kind of paedophile circle who have covered up than we would know? Of course not, it has to be because the masons are involved. hmm

Yabu. As a wife of a mason I freely help him with his learning. I confess to not knowing the ritual practise other than what is written and tbh I have no interest in that. All that concerns me is we have made some good friends, gained assistance from those with skills in areas we've needed help (employed an accountant, got to know a woodworker who has made us things, help from individuals, not the charity fund, when we needed to buy baby things.) nothing will help dh progress in work because unless he or others choose to reveal themselves how will they know? Round these parts you are far more likely to be favoured by how far you can trace your roots back to the area than by membership of a club which is commonly known as 'big boy scouts' to us wives. biscuit

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:54:22

No-one on the planning applications, then? Ah, well.

crackcrackcrak Sat 06-Oct-12 23:57:29

Around here the masons have a long history of obstructing child abuse investigations to protect their members.

Charity my arse. I wouldn't trust them full stop.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:59:53

im a domestic violence consultant with qualifications in dv, housing law, child protection, welfare benefits,forensics and youth justice with a specialist intrest in multi agency crisis intervention.

i am compleatly unqualified to sit on a planning application panel and cant imagine any reason why i would be asked to, its fair to say nobody would ask me to push a planning app through.

i have obtained planning permision for building work and asked a friend from the cab to help me not a mason.

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 00:02:38

Well done to all those Masons who pretend its just a "little club" and their little women believe it. It's corrupt and insidious and there is a handshake. They seek to obtain advantage for themselves and their families bases not on merit, but on membership and its more widespread than you think. The charity aspect is a smokescreen, it's all about advancement for the member, and those the brotherhood deem to be like them. Membership should be a sacking offence in any public sector or publicly funded organisation.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:04:12

I mean councillors who are masons sitting on planning committees, being advised by officers who are masons, determining planning applications submitted by fellow masons, worth possibly millions of pounds.

I asked this quite a way up the thread, and it remains unanswered as to why these masons wouldn't want to declare their innocent interest. (As in 'conflict of interest'.)

garlicbutty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:09:13

I've attended hospitality events and celebrations at Masonic Lodges, Sock, and, like Spuddy, went to a wedding at one. I am decidedly not a Mason of either gender! This thread has a very weird quality. Why on earth would you feel driven to insist women can join, when their own website says we can't? The order of women freemasons is not the order of freemasons. The clue's in the different name.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:10:31

glad about that because i would rather swing naked from big ben singing ive got a lovely bunch of coconuts than sit on a planning commitee.

now i dont know how the committes work but i would have thought any personal friendships regardless of any club memberships with people seeking to benefit from the committies interaction should be declared as a potential conflict.

garlicbutty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:11:25

Well, the charities do charitable stuff, to be fair, margaret.

So did the Kray Brothers.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:14:31

Sock, they should be, but they're not.

You have to be a councillor to sit on a panning commmittee. Councillors should be open and transparent.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:14:56

Panning? FFS...

garlicbutty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:16:37

YY, Sock, they should. But they don't. So their lapdancing clubs and completely redundant multi-million developments (recent local fiasco) get signed off by professionals choosing to keep their mutual 'private club' membership quiet.

Such behaviour is not open, above-board, unbiased or even in the spirit of honesty. Yet it is rife. And everyone just burbles on about tree houses and trinkets hmm

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:26:41

in the area i live female members are just treated like a different lodge(an area with loads of different lodges) and are recanised as freemasons the same as male members in different lodges are,ladys would never be told they are not masons nor would it be claimed that they are lesser masons because of gender.

most of the lodges in the county also archive there records in the same place that holds birth/death/marrige records they are all availible for public viewing for any reason they are also encouraged to publicise and be proud of membership.

when i said celebrations at lodges i was not refering to the lodge being hired out i ment actual formal lodge celebrations with no none masons attending.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:29:09

Do they record how they voted on planning and licensing decisions, Sock? And what advice they offered? And what they applied for?

Sorry to bang on about this, but it's my main objection tbh to masonry.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:31:02

xposted there.

surely thats down to the inderviduals involved, are they not even asked if there are any conflicts?

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:34:46

No, it is up to them to declare them, voluntarily.

They don't.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:38:55

i would expect if the planning issue was directly relivant to that lodge yes.

however if its not to do with the lodge it would be a bit weird if they did,same as i wouldnt talk about customers of my work at any of the clubs i attend.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 00:42:32

if they dont declare its dishonest, not being trustworthy honest law abiding and a good citizen goes against masonic values.

not saying they are all decent just that its encouraged and a value that is prized

SarahStratton Sun 07-Oct-12 00:57:52

A month ago, I'd have said very differently, but with everything that is coming out now about JS, Jersey, etc, I am firmly with LineRunner. Whoever said 'it's not a Secret Society, it's a Society with Secrets' was spot on.

I didn't know JS was a FM, but from what I do know it doesn't now surprise me. It's an impossible situation though, do anything about it and it will simply go underground.

LesleyPumpshaft Sun 07-Oct-12 04:55:38

StickMeToTheMan

It's called Western Mysticism and it's nothing to be worried about. It's been around for a very long time under various names. Some people join the Masons with a view to networking etc, but other people join for the more esoteric stuff.

Spuddybean Sun 07-Oct-12 05:15:34

Sorry Garlic and Linerunner. I wasn't being disingenuous, i was on bfing and am a bit sleep deprived, so i did miss that point earlier - apologies. smile But my point was just about the secret rituals which people keep mentioning, not any secret corruption (which i think is obviously more sinister than any 'dressing up' etc).

Beaverfeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 06:01:56

My GF was a Grand Master FM whilst he was alive and was therefore involved quite heavily being in one of the top posisfions.

He kept a secret diary about it which my mum has read and hidden from us along with his Masonic robes/cloak. (Which I happen to have stumbled across once and seen) its more like a high priest cloak and is made of black/purply-blue/gold silk, with highly decorated drapes, a mitre (like a high priests hat).

Years ago before I was born my DF asked my GF if he could join them (you have to be invited), and GF told him that it wasn't for everyone and he wouldn't want a family member being involved.
It takes up a lot of time and money to be a FM.
The FM becomes more sacred to these people than their marriage.
It is a brotherhood, but more like a cult in some aspects. It will take over people's lives.
People who are involved have access to things most people don't. Their children get places in top schools without trying etc.
they do a lot for charity, but from what my DM has revealed it is ritualistic and hinted at there being sacrificial parts to it too

Beaverfeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 06:24:28

Like this :

http://images.denhams.com/557/557lot698.jpg

http://images.denhams.com/557/557lot703.jpg

echt Sun 07-Oct-12 07:39:59

Wasn't JS a Catholic? I didn't know RCs could be Freemasons. Thought they had rival organisations like the Knights of St.Columba.

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 08:46:06

I didnt realise that charity giving can be such a good smokescreen.

Madmum24 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:01:20

The womens FM was only started because during one of the meetings a woman was discovered hiding in a cupboard. Two choices; kill her or start a womens FM in order to protect the organization. Obviously the latter happened. And this was told to me by a very devoted FM.

It's very naive to think that this was not a way of getting jobs etc, my dad told me himself that an unsaid criteria for his job (think law enforcement) was to be a FM! This was in early 80's so perhaps times have now changed.

theroseofwait Sun 07-Oct-12 09:04:30

Came back to check this thread this morning and read Beaverfeaver's post of 06.01 out loud to dh. You will be pleased to know that has made his day already and he is now making coffee while chortling about them sacrificing many a virgin on a Saturday night. . .

YABRidiculous. Please try and ascertain a few facts before spouting such utter rubbish. I'm not sure what your DGF was but it certainly wasn't a freemason. Masons wear an apron and collar, no cloak and mitre. Knights of the Templar do wear the odd pair of tights (knight's attire) but dh was asking if you'd all been watching too much 'Eyes wide shut. . . .'

theroseofwait Sun 07-Oct-12 09:13:04

. . .and dh just checked his toast list and as the Grand Master is the Duke of Kent and has been since 1967, and his father was Grand Master before him, elected in 1939, you're either the most well connected mumsnetter we've got or spouting utter crap.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 09:16:16

That is correct Queen's cousin is GM, says so on wiki.

Vagaceratops Sun 07-Oct-12 09:18:44

I havent read the whole thread, but I am a trustee of a small local charity and the Freemasons have been extremely generous to us.

Giggle78 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:20:36

My dad was in the masons and he got quite high. It is an occult organisation.
He left when he became a Christian. At its lowest level it is about dinners and networking but get a bit higher and its much more sinister and its not just about dressing up but at its highest levels is about communing with Satan. I kid you not.

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 09:22:42

I'll say it again,I am so realising from this thread how great a smokescreen charity giving can be.
If people or organisations are generous to charity,then they msut be fine upstanding citizens mustnt they. hmm

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 09:31:22

So is satan their random higher being then?

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 09:56:13

" how great a smokescreen charity giving can be"

Freemasonry isn't primarily about charity. It's goals are intellectual and geared towards the individual Freemason.

You think they pretend to be all about charity to hide some insidious intent, because you don't know anything about Freemasonry.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 09:57:35

" at its highest levels is about communing with Satan"

That is pure bullshit.

IWantAnotherBaby Sun 07-Oct-12 09:58:58

I find the suspicious hysteria surrounding freemasonary hilarious. It really feeds into paranoid people's conspiracy theory mindsets, and certainly lends itself to great yarns.

My father is a mason, as was his father. Both achieved very high rank. My grandfather was of a generation who felt women should be protected and was very secretive about the whole thing, to my grandmothers irritation. But my father has always been very open about it all, and told me pretty much everything. I find it the whole history and mythology fascinating, and would have no problem if DH was interested in joining (he isn't).

There is a lot of ritual, and some archaic language, but it is all very benign. Like-minded individuals meeting together for formal dinners, who support each other emotionally, and sometimes financially, are nothing to be afraid of. Why the hell shouldn't they exist? And why should they be made to disclose their membership? What business is it of anyone else? No-one calls for members of other organisations to declare their membership, and despite the hype and widespread invidious fictions spread about the masons, they are essentially no different.

The problem is ignorant people, scared of what they don't understand - rather like the witch hunts of the middle ages...

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 09:59:53

Cote, if its goals are intellectual, why does it attract the lowest common denominator in society?

difficultpickle Sun 07-Oct-12 10:04:23

Many years ago I had a boyfriend who was invited to join. He wasn't in the least bit interested. He was put under pressure to join but still declined. He was told that it would help further his career and would damage him if he didn't join. He still said no but was not at all impressed at the amount of pressure he was put under.

He thought that if he had a job stacking shelves in Tesco he wouldn't have been invited. Instead he had a job where he had contact with a large number of very powerful individuals (wealth management, tax planning for them).

If it is so charitable and so open then why don't they publish a membership list?

difficultpickle Sun 07-Oct-12 10:05:21

IWant have you been to any meetings?

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 10:06:27

CoteDAzur,unfortuneately I do.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:11:44

"auntmargaret - "if its goals are intellectual, why does it attract the lowest common denominator in society?"

What is the lowest common denominator in society? Love of our children?

Or do you mean the lowest members of society? As in, the least intellectual and the dumbest? I can assure you that is not the case. They may not be the best and the brightest but I would assume that they are interested in bettering themselves through thought and intellectual work.

Anyway, if you are going to subscribe to "Freemasons control the world!" conspiracy theory, surely you can't reconcile that with them all being stupid, shallow, and unintellectual.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:13:56

Let's hear it amillionyears. What exactly do you know about Freemasonry?

What are the rituals? What are they for? What happens during the meetings?

Hint: Nothing to do with politics, and certainly no "communing with Satan" FFS.

28handicap Sun 07-Oct-12 10:14:33

Morning - I am a freemason and still I play rubbish golf!

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:15:08

And in case you are all wondering why Freemasons declare it to the world, it is because of the ignorant paranoia of villagers with pitchforks like some on this thread.

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 10:18:01

Cote, maybe the Mason you know, or you yourself are just not high up enough in the food chain to know what it's actually about? It is a very secretive organisation, after all.

adeucalione Sun 07-Oct-12 10:19:39

Communing with Satan?? My Grandfather and Father were very involved with their Methodist church, devoutly religious. My DBro couldn't join the Masons because he was an outspoken atheist - I don't know whether its changed since then, but at that time belief in a deity was obligatory.

Hilarious how many people claim to know something about this when their ignorance shines through everything they post.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:23:24

auntmargaret - I assure you that is not the case.

adeucalione Sun 07-Oct-12 10:24:06

Yes, 'villagers with pitchforks' sums it up nicely - "I don't understand it, and am excluded from it, so it must be stopped immediately". It confers no more advantage than belonging to the Rotary Club, tennis club, local church - you make like minded friends.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:30:28

One of the problems on this thread is that everyone seems to think that there is only one Grand Lodge - where no women and atheists are allowed.

There are mixed lodges, as well as fully-legitimate and recognised women Freemasons with their own female Masters and Grand Masters up to 33rd degree. Just not in the Grand Lodge of England.

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 10:30:46

Sounds a wee bit paranoid and defensive to me. Almost as if you have something to hide.

IWantAnotherBaby Sun 07-Oct-12 10:38:26

adeucalione - your last post sums it up perfectly IMO.

And "villagers with pitchforks" is spot on. Widespread myth and ignorance.

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 10:41:56

CoteDAzur only knows stuff about lodges.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:43:14

And amillionyears knows everything about me, apparently hmm

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Oct-12 10:43:56

I asked you a question before, amillionyears.

What exactly do you know about Freemasonry?

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 10:47:44

cote. I fully admit that i know little about freemasonry because it is a secretive society. I could research it on th net, but frankly I cba. However, unless there is some transparency, then threads like this will inevitably result in a circular argument, something like this:

"The masons are a dodgy secretive society."
"No, they're not. You know nothing about them."
"Too right. We know nothing about them apart from second hand rumours That's why it stinks of dodgy."
"but they're good because of this, this and this (OneMoreChap style)"
"Well we only have your word on this because they're secretive. We can't make a judgement."
"but they're good because of this, this and this (OneMoreChap style)"
"Well we only have your word on this because they're secretive. We can't make a judgement."
And so on...

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 10:51:03

C'mon Masons. Open the doors and let a documentary crew in. I vote for Louis Theroux.

adeucalione Sun 07-Oct-12 10:51:30

Auntmargaret - people do tend to get defensive when, for the billionth time, they have to listen to all sorts of utter crap spouted about either themselves or the people they love.

I don't know what you do in your spare time, or what your DH does, but maybe you would get defensive if you/he were accused of devil worshipping and other general wickedness when you absolutely know it to be lies and urban myth.

And just when you think you've exploded every bit of ignorant misinformation some twit comes on to say that you don't know anything because you're just not important enough, because they've read Dan Brown and know the real truth.

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 10:52:53

aeduc. I refer you to my posts above yours.

Beaverfeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 10:56:09

The duke of Kent is the grand master of the united great lodge uk wide.

There are obviously going to be affiliated groups and other lodges.

All I know is what I have been told and seen for myself. He was a very high up Freemason and also member of the knights Templar (which is what the mitre hat was for)

he did have both the Freemasons cloak with leather apron which he wore and e definitley had a mitre hat which was completely different too. He has been dead for over 20 years and would have been partaking in these things in the London area over 40 years ago.

Things do change.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 10:56:21

That's the thing, members of other organisations are compelled to disclose for public jobs such as police or council. Members of trade unions have to, and any management or trusteeship of any other organisation. Not the masons though. Why?

adeucalione Sun 07-Oct-12 10:56:28

MardyBra - just because you 'cba to look it up on the Internet' doesn't mean that all of their so-called secrets aren't there for anyone who can be arsed to look up.

So you can either listen to the Masons on this thread, who are answering questions, or do some Internet research for yourself - and if you really cba well then you can't really complain about all the secrets.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 10:59:40

I tend to think that, as a rule, groups will get together, people will benefit from these links, and that freemasonry might be one of the social structures that facilitates this sort of behaviour. I don't know much about the masons at all, but obviously this could be possible, and whether it happens is up for debate.

I don't think it's fair, but not sure how you stop it. Do agree though that in an ideal world one would be made to declare anything that affect ability to be impartial - so if making a decision on a fellow Freemasons planning, as well as if you are making a decision about someone you play golf with for example.

There have been some people here with seemingly no axe to grind who have said things from first hand experience that seem to have been dismissed by members/family of members as rubbish because it doesn't fit with your argument. Why is their experience less valid than yours? Am thinking particularly of the MNer whose DH was out under pressure to join.....

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 11:00:23

The thing is, adeu, I have been looking up on the internet. There are a smattering of people like you who say it is all benign, then thousands of sites that claim that it is anything but. Internet searching is not helping win me over to be honest.

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 11:01:34

I could look up the "secrets" but I wouldn't know which websites are true and which are speculation because it is a "society with secrets". That's why I cba.

Oh look it's a circular argument again.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 11:06:57

Binky, the problem with the planning (for example) disclosures is that being a mason isn't like playing golf with someone.

If I were to sit on a planning committee and the application to be discussed was my house, or that of a close relative, I would declare a prejudicial interest, would leave the room and not have the ability to vote.
If it were of a friend (or golf partner), I would declare a personal interest. I would not leave the room and could vote, but my interest would be noted and scrutinised.
If I were a mason, knew the applicant was a mason but they weren't a close friend, I wouldn't (presumably) feel compelled to disclose any interest at all, however we would have pledged a blood tie to one another.
If they genuinely see themselves as a 'brotherhood', then surely the rules of prejudicial interest should come into play?

Of course this sort of link should be disclosed, even when the members do not actually know each other well.

Beaverfeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 11:07:09

Oh and to add: 2 doors down from where I live is a Masonic lodge for the local area.
The gentleman meet up every week or so.

They do not wear anything like what my GF had. They just dress smartly. I haven't seen any of them with a leather apron or cloak or shawl.

My GF cloak/robes is still kept at my parents house, it hasn't been worn for over 40 years, but its there and I have seen it.
So I would rather people didn't start assuming I'm a lier as all I have done is repeat what I have been told/ seen.
He would have been doing it thought the Second World War, and it was e cause of his free mason work that he wasn't sent to war.

Even though I was very close to this person he didn't talk about it to me.
Ben though I am close to my DM and she read the notes e made in his diary, she wouldn't tell me what was in there.

Knowing the little I know, is enough to know that it does good in the community, big people do use it to get to high places fast, and there are many negatives that they don't like you to know.

There was a blog started a while ago by an American woman who was wife of a Freemason and was divorcing him because of if.
She and a host of other women came out and were saying all sorts of ba things about what the masons are and do.

I for one hope that it was untrue as I would never want my GF associated with that kind of behaviour.
He was one of the most respected men IMO and I wouldn't want that thought to be spoilt.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 11:11:44

stickme I agree. I meant that you should be compelled to declare it for those reasons. Sorry if not clear.

Beaverfeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 11:19:53

This is a good website if you are interested in finding out notable figures an famous people who have been. Member of the united grand Freemasons of uk:

http://www.ugle.org.uk/what-is-masonry/

JS not on the list though

perceptionreality Sun 07-Oct-12 11:24:56

YANBU

This organisation doesn't sound good to me and quite often I've heard that ritual sacrifices are involved in FM from people who had family members involved.

How can anyone think charity work alone proves they are harmless?

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 11:40:40

Jimmy Savile did lots of charity work.

OhlimpPricks Sun 07-Oct-12 11:44:45

So OP, if you categorise all Freemasons because supposedly JS was one, do you also assume that everyone who raises money for charity is a paedophile?

My DF, GF, etc are/were Freemasons. All of you who have 'heard from a friend' or 'know' that little signals were sent, or 'a friend told you' , that's all you have base your sneering opinions on.

The funniest thing? The majority of Freemasons do not really give a shiny shite what you think. So sneer away, cast your aspertions as much as you like. It's a subject you know nothing about, and your ignorance and fear drive your behaviour. The Freemasons carry on regardless, raising money for charity and doing good. Carry on shouting.....

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 11:58:51

Read your post Ohlimp, and scan for irony.

perceptionreality Sun 07-Oct-12 12:00:14

If something is good, honourable and completely above board then there should be no reason to keep secrets about it imo. Same principle with scientology.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 12:00:18

JS used his good works and raising money for charity as a cover.

MardyBra Sun 07-Oct-12 12:04:36

You beat me to it with the irony comment Op. Of course, OhLimp's second hand testimonies from friends and family bears so much more weight than testimony from anyone else's friends or family.

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 12:29:08

CoteD'Azur.
I dont know about lodges.
I dont know about freemasonary.

I do know freemasons.
An area not yet talked about is transport.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 12:50:46

Sorry been offline all morning <doing good works> - just to go back to the Planning committee issue.

Yes, it is perfectly normal for councillors on the Planning Committee to 'stand down' if they know an applicant, or for them to have previously sought legal advice about serving on the Committee if it involves anyone they know (including if one of the applicants/advisors/deputations is someone known to them).

I sit through lots of Planning Meetings for one of my jobs and I have never heard any of the masons mention being masons.

If it's so 'benign' why do'lt they voluntarily list it on their declaration of interests? That would be a helpful pro-active step for a truly harmless Freemasonry movement.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 13:05:34

I must go and put some money in a charity box, apparently it makes me a wonderful person.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 13:18:25

MrsJ, you might also be able to help get a Planning Application through, without letting on it's a big boost for one of your mates.

LynetteScavo Sun 07-Oct-12 13:31:29

I get the secret society bit.

I get the sticking up --covering up--for your friends bit.

I get the odd rituals bit.

I get the raising money for charity bit.

What I don't get is that members must believe in a deity, any deity, but they aren't a religion. Why won't they accept atheists?

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 13:35:48

Transport? confused

WkdSM Sun 07-Oct-12 13:45:54

I am a woman and a freemason - yes the ladies freemasons have a separate headquarters and are run separately from the men (for over 100 years I believe) - but AFAIK doesn't the womens professional golf association govern itself rather than the mens PGA? My DH is a freemason and we use the same ritual. We can't attend each others meetings just like a woman can't play in a mans golf match and vice versa. Would not want to - I think us ladies are probably far better at ritual than the men!!

Yes to some people the ritual is silly - just like to some people being in an amateur dramatics group would seem silly. The ritual is used to explain how we should strive to live a more moral life - and uses stories to illustrate this. Some people take this more seriously than others (as in any group).

On the subject of people who have abused their position whether in a planning committee or as a paedophile - unfortunately you will find this in almost any group. There have been paedophile priests and teachers - and people who have covered up or ignored it - but not all teachers and priests have done this or would condone it. Same with freemasons.

I have found the freemasons to be the most inclusive group of people I have met - you can't be an aetheist (because you have to believe in a higher power than yourself) - but it does not matter whether you are unemployed or a CEO - a millionaire or struggling to get by - in lodge you are all equal.

On the Satanic side - some of this is from a professed hoax years ago - a chap wrote a book with lots of false stories about freemasonry deliberately to see how gullible people could be - it worked and he then came clean and said it was all made up - unfortunately the stories he told are now circulated as truth. The thing about worshipping goats - in freemasons texts they do not use the full words but shorten them - thus the use of The God of All Things (so as to include all forms of higher being so as to be inclusive) was written as the GOAT - so some people take this to mean we pray to a goat (or as the joke goes - have sex with a goat - you have to be high up to get the pretty goat)

I suspect that some people will say that I am not 'high' enough up to know that I am really a member of a society planning wold domination. Kind of wish I was - that would be quite exciting.

For the record - my DH declared he was a freemason when he went for a job with a Catholic founded institution - and one of the interviewing panel then said - oops - so am I - but he had not mentioned his own membership when accepting his job as he had not considered it any more relevant than belonging to the local round table.

If you have any questions I will try and answer them but TOC has been doing an excellent job!

WkdSM Sun 07-Oct-12 13:50:56

SMTTM

You have to promise to try and live your life to a certain moral code (no different to most major religions - helping others, doing no harm etc) and to make this promise you have to swear on / to something you believe to be bigger than yourselves. It is a bit like religious marriage ceremony as opposed to a civil ceremony - a lot of vicars / priests will not marry you in church if you don't believe in God.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 13:59:52

I had never heard about the goat thing, interesting how GOAT got twisted like that.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 14:09:28

wkdsm in a short while your about to get told you dont exist,that your not a real mason that you cant possible be because shock horror your a woman. so you must be in a totally different compleatly sepperate organisation you just dont know it. grin

ThreadWatcher Sun 07-Oct-12 14:10:19

I think this thread is bizarre and funny in a scary kind of way confused

I think the Freemasons on this thread (or those happy to defend it) are either ignorant/naive of what goes on. Or part of the smokescreen to pretend it isn't the sinister organisation it really is.

I know little about it from personal experience but nothing I have read so far will convince me it's a good thing.
Both my grandfathers were masons - the multitude that turned up for a funeral were definitely scary.

Whilst I was pregnant with our first, my dh was forced out of his job and the tied house we lived in, by masons. They were callous, unpleasant and hypocritical. But hey they must have been alright because they did 'good works' hmm

ThreadWatcher Sun 07-Oct-12 14:13:29

WkdSM - please tell us/me the author and name of the book?

bureni Sun 07-Oct-12 14:53:15
bureni Sun 07-Oct-12 14:57:11

The Goat is still alive and kicking in the Orange order today grinthis song is very well known in Ulster.

youtu.be/Tz4bNzF5ZtM

WkdSM Sun 07-Oct-12 14:57:34

Yep - I do belong to a separate organisation - The Order of Women's Freemasons - I can't work out how to link but you can look it up. We meet in the same room as the men, and abide by the same promises.

The book Palladium was by Leo Taxil written in 1889 - born as Gabriel Jogand-Pages in 1854, he was a professional con artist. In 1897 he revealed it as a hoax - it was primarily written to wind up the Catholic Church (whom he also had a grudge against) - which it did. He had a good laugh at how seriously people took it and how willing they were to believe all sorts of nonsense. he also earnt money off of the book sales - as of now, the more scandal / salacious gossip the more papers sell!

If you want to know a bit more, a good starting point is 'Freemasonry for Dummies' - yes the same series as PC for Dummies etc. A bit simplistic and Americanised but has some basic information and history.

Threadwatcher - I am so sorry if you have had a horrible experience. I totally understand if you have been treated unfairly that you feel agreived, and obviously I don't know any of the details, but going to a funeral is a mark of respect for that person and their families. If your grandfathers were known and well liked then a lot of perople would turn up. Masons or not. I would find it lovely if the bridge club or the golf club friends my gransparents had turned up for their funeral.

I can assure you all that I exist and I am not a smokescreen.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Oct-12 15:01:08

I think everybody should have to declare their membership. This getting a job because you're a Freemason is just not on.

bureni Sun 07-Oct-12 15:04:09

Most jobs are handed out on a "Who you know" not "What you know" basis nowadays, being a mason makes no difference really.

LesleyPumpshaft Sun 07-Oct-12 15:04:19

Freemasonry and Satanism?

I'm not a Freemason, but I have a pretty good idea about where Freemasonry is coming from, and it's not anything like that.

WkdSM Sun 07-Oct-12 15:06:20

Loved the links - the Shriners are a sort of add on thing that freemasons can join if they want to - all members are freemasons but not all freemasons are members - they focus a lot on kids charities and are mainly based in the USA.

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 15:15:08

Good heavens.

How senior a mason do you have to be?

I'm as senior as you get in Blue Masonry.
I'm also a Mark mason and member of Royal Arch. As a MM, you can go and visit any Lodge, including those where all the <ooh-higher ups> go. I've sat next to Grand Lodge Officers, Provincial Grand Masters... the idea these are some sort of sub-culture is asinine.

amillionyears
You dont need to reply again. I will not be be changing my mind on this.

You surprise me grin.

LineRunner
No-one has tackled the conflict of interest issue.

How do you mean, tackled it. I said a Mason should follow the interests of Law, Family Business. You woffle on about conflict of interest, show some. "Oooh, he's a Mason" is no more a conflict of interest, than "Oooh, they go to the same church", "ooH they got to the same golf club".

That's lovely, but what about the million pound planning applications? which ones...

I asked this quite a way up the thread, and it remains unanswered as to why these masons wouldn't want to declare their innocent interest. if every other councillor discloses every other interest they have, including religion - you could only do that by law; in which case? The Freemasons would comply.

SarahStratton
A month ago, I'd have said very differently, but with everything that is coming out now about JS, Jersey, etc,
What coming out - cite something other than rumour?

I am firmly with LineRunner. Oh dear...

auntmargaret
Well done to all those Masons who pretend its just a "little club" and their little women believe it. It's corrupt and insidious

Drivel - show some evidence.

and there is a handshake.

There is.

They seek to obtain advantage for themselves and their families bases not on merit, but on membership

Nope.
and its more widespread than you think.

More widespread than you think perhaps...

The charity aspect is a smokescreen, it's all about advancement for the member, and those the brotherhood deem to be like them.

No, it isn't show some evidence...

Membership should be a sacking offence in any public sector or publicly funded organisation.

Mmm. Think we should be compiling registers of Freemasons? Perhaps you'd like to add Gypsies, homosexuals and Jews to that list.... You wouldn't be the first...

MardyBra
I could research it on th net, but frankly I cba.

So why kick off about it.

However, unless there is some transparency,

What like a FreeMason answering questions?
"but they're good because of this, this and this (OneMoreChap style)"

Didn't think I'd said that...

Beaverfeaver
he did have both the Freemasons cloak with leather apron which he wore and e definitley had a mitre hat which was completely different too.

Sounds like the lambskin apron for Craft Masonry, and the Mitre is possibly Royal Arch or one of the other side orders.

StickMeToTheMan
That's the thing, members of other organisations are compelled to disclose for public jobs such as police or council. Members of trade unions have to, and any management or trusteeship of any other organisation. Not the masons though. Why?

Do you have to declare: religion, membership of an amateur dramatic society, charitable body, voluntary organisation?

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 15:20:10

I don't 'woffle on', OneMoreChap and your rudeness is unnecessary.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 15:21:55

Onemorechap, what profession are you in?

bureni Sun 07-Oct-12 15:23:43

a Jedi master grin

amillionyears Sun 07-Oct-12 15:37:40

OneMoreChap works with troubled teens. I dont know in what capacity.

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 15:39:25

Chap, your argument is fatuous and insulting. People choose to be Freemasons, they don't choose to be Jewish, or gay, or members of the travelling community.

auntmargaret Sun 07-Oct-12 15:43:19

And it's difficult to show evidence when the whole ethos of the organisation is secrecy. But I have seen people give others Masonic handshakes in their professional lives, which is totally unprofessional. And I have heard from close relatives about their being given Masonic handshakes when they were in a tendering process for a public sector organisation. And every time it happened, he phoned their boss and complained. And no, they didn't get the contract.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:01

"Do you have to declare: religion, membership of an amateur dramatic society, charitable body, voluntary organisation?"

Yes. If you have an organisational role in a religious group you have to, and yes to the others. Just not masons.

ScarahStratton Sun 07-Oct-12 15:54:22

I don't need to cite something other than rumour. I have met the man, and I firmly believe that what is coming out is true. I did state that this would come out months ago, when he died. I was shot down by a lot of posters citing the charity shite.

FM had many levels, I am happy to believe that at the most basic levels it is both benign and charitable. I have FMs in the family, and previous generations have been heavily involved, as have previous boyfriends.

Knowing what I know about some of those people, I am more than happy to believe that the higher levels of FM are anything but benign.

What is the point of the handshake though if its not there to identify one mason to another in a secret way, but your not secret as all the mrs masons and masons on here have said, but you are because you give a secret shake, god I'm confused.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:03:14

Yes, quite. Why have a secret handshake? When is it used, and for what purposes?

OMC, when have you used it? Do you do every handshake as one, only with people you know to be masons, or do you pick and choose? If so, how do you pick and choose?

Doodlekitty Sun 07-Oct-12 16:18:26

I've lost out on 3 teaching jobs because another applicant went to church with the head teacher (in one case another applicants mother, not her). This being the only reason that I was given (and given informally, one to one so I could not complain. To suggest this is something which is unique to masonry is idiotic, it happens all the damn time.

I have never, in any walk of life been asked to declare groups I am a part of and I'm a union member, have been involved in local council etc. I don't see why masons should NEED to declare themselves when, say, golf club members do not.

My husband greets everyone with the handshake. Not to gain some kind of advantage for himself as he never has (to his knowledge) gained an advantage for being a mason. But it's a conversation starter if the person whose hand he is shaking happens to return the shake. If he were offered a job, or some kind of work advancement simply due to this he'd be damn right insulted.

People on this thread are really being a bit hysterical about the whole thing. The type of people who 'gain advantage' in dodgy ways through being masons, and I don't doubt they exist, would and probably do, gain advantage in other ways even if Masons did not exist. Don't you think similar happens in groups like the Lions? Or even just a working mans club, do they publish lists of their members? (perhaps they do, I don't know)

We mention charitable works, not as an excuse for JS and his actions, but because the OP asked for information on why the masons exist and what they do. Charitable work is part of the answer to this. They publish a list of which charities are helped, so this is hardly secret

What we have on this thread is a few people who actually know what they are talking about and a few people who are going on hearsay and some frankly ridiculous fiction and are unwilling to listen to reason as they have no intention of changing their minds. I don't know what more you want then people who are actually involved answering your questions.

DH an I have had a bit of a laugh about it but its really starting to annoy me when people are tarring him with the same brush as people like JS just because they may belong to the same, frankly enormous, club. I've never hid a thread on Mums net but I'm getting very close.

Oh, and did you hear, the masons faked the moon landings too.

WkdSM Sun 07-Oct-12 16:18:56

The handshake was used to identify whether you were a freemason or not - remember this was set up at a time when there was no electric light etc so if you needed to be sure someone was who they said they were, and were entitled to attend meetings, you could not see a hand wavy sort of gesture, so a handshake was used. In dark or light, you can prove you are a freemason without a word. It is very subtle and I'm not sure even if you were looking for it you could see it.
Various thoughts as to when it can be used - some say you can use it if you think a person is a mason but do not want to ask outright - some only if you know the person is a mason.

As far as I know, you have to declare membership of the masons if you are applying to be in the police or a judge. May be wrong but I thought you had to.

My DH used to wear a Round Table badge to work - a sign he was proud of his membership - would not mean anything to anyone else but Tablers.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:24:52

"I have never, in any walk of life been asked to declare groups I am a part of and I'm a union member, have been involved in local council etc."

Not for being a union member, or for being 'involved' in local council, but for being a councillor, magistrate etc.

You don't have to declare being a mason for police applications, and Jack Straw tried to change the rules so that new applications for judges did have to be declared, but that got scrapped.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:26:31

Sorry, it was introduced, and existed for 11 years, but then was scrapped. here

Doodlekitty Sun 07-Oct-12 16:26:58

Do you have to declare being a member of a golf club on police applications? Or a football team?

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:34:45

I don't know much about police applications, but for council you have to declare membership to any clubs or societies (other than the freemasons).

LynetteScavo Sun 07-Oct-12 16:35:26

So was JS a Freemason? confused

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:35:52

To be on the board of trustees of a charity you do have to declare membership of any masonic organisation.

StickMeToTheMan Sun 07-Oct-12 16:36:44

Apparently so, but it seems to be a bit secret.

Doodlekitty Sun 07-Oct-12 16:41:44

So, when you apply to be a councillor, or however it works, does the firm (or whatever) say

Please declare all groups you are part of (excepting Freemasons)

?

Because as far as my DH is concerned if a form asked him to declare groups he is a member of he would list the Freemasons. He has never been told he does not have to.

And anyway, even if it was not declared, surely they would greet an interviewer with the handshake and thus declare it.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 16:45:20

As per my previous comment it does seem that people who have experience of the masons and are 'for them' expect their accounts to be taken on trust whilst dismissing accounts from those who have close experience which does not reflect so well as nonsense. Eg the poster's DH who had a lot of pressure to join because of contacts, and the handshake in procurement meetings.

Isn't it likely, as wkdsm says that some groups don't use it to take unfair advantage, and that others do?

doodlekitty I also think its outrageous to lose a job just because someone goes to the interviewer's church, and that reasonable steps should be taken to stop that too.

Fakebook Sun 07-Oct-12 16:49:21

Can someone tell me how freemasons are linked to the JS scandal? I've tried googling but can't find anything.

Doodlekitty Sun 07-Oct-12 16:49:26

As I said, I'm sure there are people who use it to gain. But they are the type who also use their golf club, family, mates down the pub, to gain. I don't understand why the masons demonised for what SOME of their members MAY do and other organisations are not (meaning this thread, not life in general). As I said in a very early post, there are wankers in every walk of life. Some wankers are Masons, some are schoolteachers, some are scoutmasters. That's just life

LynetteScavo Sun 07-Oct-12 16:49:35

I've just asked DH if anyone has ever given him a funny handshake. He tells me he has experienced plenty of funny handshakes over the years. He's thinks there are different hand shakes for different lodges, and has just demonstrated one he gets quite a lot.

So, once someone has given you a masonic handshake, you will know they are a mason. So not so secret then.

Binkybix Sun 07-Oct-12 17:00:17

I've not demonised masons in this thread at all, I don't know enough about it.

I just think that, where possible, old school tie type arrangements should be stopped from operating in public life as far as possible. Just because it happens (and I totally agree it happens through other groups too) doesn't mean we shouldn't try to stop it.

theroseofwait Sun 07-Oct-12 18:15:35

The different handshakes are to do with degrees of learning, there's a different handshake for a first degree mason, second degree mason etc. I think there's three but I could be wrong. . . . . .

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 18:35:42

for the poster upthread who asked how the masons are apparently linked to the js scandel its a bit like this...

a photograph of js and peter sutcliff and frank bruno taken at broadmoor exists and shows peter sutcliff and frank bruno shaking hands in a apparently masonic handshake - yep it seriously is that small.

MrsjREwing Sun 07-Oct-12 18:58:42

In the court case it was noted js lived by the site of a yorkshire ripper victim, link on js chat thread.

Allofaflumble Sun 07-Oct-12 20:39:17

The masons seem to be off limits for the media. When did you ever hear them being mentioned in any news reports or am I missing something here? Because of their secretive nature, nothing about them can be questioned really, which is sinsister in itself surely?

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 21:18:50

Handshakes: Several. Look them up. Differ by degree
Widely known, it's a polite greeting, and you wouldn't use that to recognise a Mason.

You could not possibly tell if 2 people exchanged a masonic handshake - so all this "I saw them do it" is nonsene.

SamuelWestsMistress Sun 07-Oct-12 21:38:49

I think anything that involves "secret" hand shakes that isn't something to do with some kind of child's story is completely ridiculous!

Grown up men in special in clubs? No wonder the world is a complete mess.

garlicbutty Sun 07-Oct-12 21:52:35

OK, I looked them up. One of them looks damn strange (if the interweb's got 'em right) but I've probably given the others by accident at times!

My search also took me to the secretary of UGLE telling a sycophantic Telegraph reporter THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a masonic handshake. It must be obvious why most of us don't believe a word that comes (publicly) out of the Masons.

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 22:59:40

SamuelWestsMistress
Grown up men in special in clubs? No wonder the world is a complete mess.

... and the Lady Mason's?

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 23:01:44

That report is drivel.
The "noose" is a cable tie, and is naff all to do with "the umbilical cord".

The trouser leg isn't once, and there are a range of handshakes.

The handshakes would easily be given by accident, which is why you'd not use those as the sole mean of recognition.

WkdSM Mon 08-Oct-12 09:52:24

I think we must all be really terrible at this 'secret world domination stuff' - masons have been around for years and we are still not ruling the world and we are so good at keeping ourselves a secret everyone knows about us.

In the USA and they have little notices as you enter towns for Lions, Rotary - and masons. One small masonic building I know there has a 10 - 15ft high masonic sign and the words Xtown Masonic Lodge which light up at night! Our local masonic centre in the UK has a sign in a public car park pointing to it.

Seriously - there have been documentaries and investigations - I can remember watching one about a year ago - they seemed quite disappointed they could not find anything really newsworthy. Perhaps that is why there is not a lot written about masons - because there is not really a lot to report?

And OP - freemasonry was outlawed by Hitler - partially because it accepted people of different religions were equal, so someone beat you to the idea.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 10:57:13

It is fundamentally compatible with any positions of authority or public service because it demands a direct conflict of duty.

I can quite see why the rank and file masons enjoy it - to them it is as harmless as the WI or the Rotary Club or a golf club. But they are exceptionally naive to not question the effect being a mason has on the criminal justice system, from police through to judiciary to CPS. Imagine having masons in the CPS who could decide not to prosecute for not enough evidence. A case is stopped dead in its tracks. And if you can nobble the police, judiciary and CPS you're pretty much home free in terms of doing anything illegal.

For anyone claiming the Masons are harmless please read about the collapse of the Daniel Morgan trial and the effort of the non-masonic police to prosecute two police charged of the 6 defendants in that murder.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Morgan_(private_investigator)

It took 5 enquiries and a collapsed trial and still the family are no further to finding who killed Daniel. NoTW and hacking involves the masons and police loyalty to other mason, If inquiries into JS widen beyond the BBC we will start to see how he used the masons to further his connections with other pedophiles and procure children for them so he had a hold over them.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 11:04:03

Sorry to cut and paste my post from another thread but it puts the JS connection across:

Savile is the tip of the iceberg. I bet a lot of people currently shitting themselves are hoping we all focus on lynching the BBC so they can carry on.

There's just so much stuff even apart from the wholly credible witnesses in that programme - including the eye witnesses let's not forget - Sue Thompson the BBC junior producer he saw him abusing a young girl and reported it - in no particular order:

1. JS injunction agains The Sun in 2008 to prevent them publishing the photo of him with the kids at Haut de la Garenne - a children's care home in Jersey where Ted Heath's bodyguards reportedly saw JS deliver little boys from the care home to TH to abuse on his yacht Morning Glory - JS has been named by at least one Jersey victim although the investigation was actively run aground by those in power in Jersey - JS had denied ever visiting HdG presumably when he was interviewed over victim's allegations in 2007

2. JS's nephew Guy Marsden's statement about running into JS in a child molester's flat he and his school friends had been lured into at King's Cross and ending up guarding 10 - 12 year olds ferried into a pop impresario's from care homes while they waited their turn to be taken into bedrooms by men and abused. {Daily Mail Article}

3. JS's own autobiography which a poster refers to above, especially with regard to JS's elevated position in the freemasons and blackmail material he had in order to take down half of that particular Leeds police station with him in the 1950s.

4. JS's request to be buried in concrete - "eccentric". No. Evidence-DNA destroying? Perhaps. I'm not a forensic pathologist CSI type person so I have not a clue. But a block of concrete would certainly deter an angry mob disinterring a corpse if, as the net was starting to close in with his questioning on HdG involvement in 2007, he started to contemplate things coming out within a short time after his death.

5. "God’ll Fix It, his slim volume on religion published in 1978, contained many more unusual insights. Jimmy opened a chapter titled How Do I Cope With Sex? with the following thought: ‘Sex at its worst is corruption, as when young people might be corrupted to provide sex.’ He went on to talk about how sex could be the source of ‘great remorse, great guilt’ and insisted his rule was never ‘make love to anyone if it causes them distress’ or if they were in ‘a state of drunkenness or don’t know what they’re doing. I mustn’t take them knowing that when they return to normal they’ll be distressed’.
In closing, he offered a final thought: ‘Whether it’s OK to God we’ll just have to wait and see.’" Wonder what God will think when he turns up and has to explain why he's in concrete?
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213931/Jimmy-Savile-Little-slaves-sordid-boasts-dark-truth-friend--biographer-Dan-

Absolutely everything JS did was motivated by access and opportunity to abuse children. I don't doubt this for a second. One of his older brothers has a conviction for sexual abuse of a hospital patient. Something went very very wrong in that family. His utter disregard for those children he abused and procured for others to abuse (there are already revelations that his motto was "the younger: the better" as stated by his biographer - the opportunistic abuse of 13+ yr old fans is just what he permitted enough people to see openly)

There have been child care home abuse scandals in concentrated pockets around the country (Jersey, Clwyd/N Wales, Islington, Plymouth to name a few) where abuse was going on through the 60s/70s/80s and the 90s. In all cases it has been only staff abusing the children have been convicted (with puzzlingly lenient sentences) but allegations from victims of being hired out/given to be abused by others have been shut down due to who they identify in positions of power throughout the ages. The names are astonishing and yet, like Savile, the rumours have always been there and insinuated publicly in a variety of ways. In Clwyd the main abuser running the home Bryn also ran several video production companies and was inexplicably estimated to be worth £7m. www.independent.co.uk/life-style/clwyd-at-long-last-the-coverup-is-over-1283994.html

It was strongly suggested the North Wales police were involved which was why the extent of the abuse was allowed to rake in £7m in profits from using those children as studio fodder for their video production companies and why victims' allegations were reportedly not passed to the CPS. In 2007 the Waterhouse Report (the resulting inquiry into the N Wales scandal) was suppressed - www.nickdavies.net/1997/10/01/secrecy-imposed-on-the-exposure-of-alleged-child-abuse-news-and-feature/ because as you can see, the list of the accused contained high ranking individuals and police and social workers and suggests links to political parties and the aristocracy.

JS used his links within the freemasons to find, procure for and involve in the abuse of children and then forever have a hold over them. In the early days (1950s) in the dance halls it may have been just the cop shop round the corner from the Mecca Locarno he had connections in as he boasted of, but then the masons has all manner of members from police to parliamentarians to aristocracy. I'm pretty sure he used his "faith" in the same way, as a means to connect with other paedophiles in positions of power or with access to children. His nephew references a priest at the parties. And through this JS built an invincible power base as more and more people in positions of power became known to him as pedophiles. So no, if it's some small comfort I don't think we were as morally negligent or uncaring as we think although there are plently of points to be made about the culture of sexism and children not being listened to. But I also think that JS was very well protected by what he knew about people in power - and he was also known to be very litigious.

I suspect this will end up with a suppressed report or a D notice for 100 years like Tony Blair slapped on the findings of the Islington care abuse scandal or, if they can, we will be incited into scampering after the celebrities who, for sentimental reasons, we will be most upset about. Never mind the fact that those in actual positions of power and authority, some with immense wealth who can afford to buy children and treat them as so disposable they lose their lives, will slip under the radar yet again.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 11:17:34

incompatible I should have said in my first post.

And my grandfather was a mason and long after his death they paid half of all my grandmother's care home bills until her death so I know they look after their own very well and have indirectly benefited from that within my own family.

As we know from JS, charitable acts don't exonerate wrongdoing. There's no balancing act here where God does some double entry book-keeping on arrival at the pearly gates looks you up and down and says ah yes I can see you've abused over a thousand children in your lifetime, some of whom were killed in the process or killed themselves BUT you did raise over £40m for charity so through the doors you go.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 11:36:58

"It is fundamentally compatible with any positions of authority or public service because it demands a direct conflict of duty."

It doesn't. Freemasonry is very clear that:

(1) You need to be a law-abiding citizen of your country
and
(2) You help out a fellow Freemason but not at the expense of someone better qualified or if doing so will be illegal (as above).

Hiring someone you know rather than a complete stranger happens everywhere. If you have seen a Freemason do it, that is hardly evidence that the entire establishment is corrupt and should be abolished hmm

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 11:40:08

"Because of their secretive nature..."

Freemasonry is not "secret" or "secretive". It is esoteric.

I have said this a few times on this thread now. Has anyone looked it up?

If Freemasonry was so secret and Freemasons oh so secretive, there would not be so many books and websites about it. And you would not be able to ask questions on here and receive answers from a Freemason.

"nothing about them can be questioned really"

Many people are questioning it on this thread right now. And receiving answers. What are you talking about?

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 11:49:49

Cote - you know about the Daniel Morgan successive investigations and the collapse of the trial and the declaration by the investigating team that they were not masons?

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 11:54:12

No but I have a feeling that you will tell me all about it.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 12:00:43

Well if you're not interested in reading what I already linked to above more than happy to oblige - From wikipedia:

"In the twenty years following Morgan's death five police inquiries were conducted. There were allegations of police corruption, drug trafficking and robbery.[3]

During an initial Metropolitan Police inquiry Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery were questioned but both denied involvement in the murder.[2][3]
After an inquiry by Hampshire police in 1988, Jonathan Rees and another man were charged with the murder, but charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.[4] The Hampshire inquiry's 1989 report to the Police Complaints Authority stated that "no evidence whatsoever" had been found of police involvement in the murder.[2]

Sid Fillery retired from the Metropolitan Police on medical grounds and took over Daniel Morgan's position as Jonathan Rees's partner at Southern Investigations.[4] In 1998 Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Clark conducted a third, secret, inquiry into the murder during which Southern Investigations's office was bugged.[4] In December 2000, Jonathan Rees was found guilty of conspiring to plant cocaine on an innocent woman in order to discredit her in a child custody battle and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for attempting to pervert the course of justice.[2][4] When the Morgan family called for disclosure of the 1989 Hampshire police report, DAC Clark imposed very restrictive conditions.[2]

In the fourth inquiry in 2002-2003 a suspect's car and Glenn Vian's house were bugged and conversations recorded.[4] Although as a result of the inquiry the Metropolitan Police obtained evidence that linked a number of individuals to the murder,[4] the Crown Prosecution Service decided that the evidence was insufficient to prosecute anyone.[2]

After the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair declared that the first police inquiry (involving Fillery) was "compromised", a secret fifth inquiry, began.[4]

Detective Superintendent David Cook was appointed to head an inquiry to review the evidence. Because of concerns over connections between Masonic Lodge members and the murder, the 36 police officers appointed to the inquiry team were required to state that they had never been Freemasons.*[5] Cook described the murder as "one of the worst-kept secrets in south-east London," claiming that "a whole cabal of people" knew the identity of at least some of those involved. He said that efforts had been made to blacken Morgan's character and dismissed claims that Morgan might have been killed after an affair with a client or because of an involvement with Colombian drug dealers. He identified the main suspects as "white Anglo-Saxons".[2]"

Daniel Morgan is the private invesitgator murdered in 1987 with an axe - he was the partner of the man Jonathan Rees who continued to run SOuthern Investigations - the PI agency with the links to the police that did NoTW's dirty work when it came to hacking.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 12:04:59

so going by that logic,

i am also a member of the wi and a few social sports clubs including a golf club.

if a member of my wi (given that the wi is really very political and makes no secret of courting many power makers or cultivating powerful friends and projecting a image) breaks the law then all wi members must be bad?

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 12:14:41

What logic?

If police who aren't masons think it's a problem, especially in cases where they are attempting to prosecute their own for corruption and much much worse then I am inclined to agree with them.

sock - I am sure many WI members break the law, and not because they are WI members, same as with the masons. JS and all the paedophilia links within the masons don't make all masons bad just like padeophile priests don't make the entire RC bad.

What is bad is that these people are in a position of authority. Cote corrects me and says their is no demand to put other masons first so there is no conflict of duty within cirminal justice system for example. That may be the case. However, there have been significant issues where masons appear to be acting under the impression they are somehow required to protect their own.

I am surprised more posters who are pro-masons and see thm as harmless haven't heard of the Daniel Morgan case and the lengths to which the non-masonic police investigating had to go to try and prosecute? - and even then it still didn't work (there are masons in the CPS and the judiciary aplenty).

I have huge admiration for all the police who don't join the masons, I really do. and there are plenty of them thankfully.

StickMeToTheMan Mon 08-Oct-12 12:26:29

Good posts HAW.

No, Sock (durr) it doesn't mean they must all be bad. What we are saying is that involvement can compromise justice and therefore failure to disclose is inappropriate. Not that every single person is bad. hmm

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 12:37:18

i was refering to the js suituation as we xposted with the morgan stuff.

fwiw i am aware of the morgan case, but cote is correct the law of the land comes first.

when you have positions of power sadly they will always attract a significant amount of people who wish to abuse power,its sad but true that unfortunatly a large amount of power hungrey bullies are attracted to roles with in the justice system, police, social services even teachers as each role places them in a fairly unique possition to abuse people more vulnerable. it has always and will always be the case. thankfully all those jobs are also attractive to the right people those who wish to make the world a better place and i do hope there are more of the right people in them.

it wont make a jot of a difference if you are a mason or a member of any other type of club those bullies will always be there, it is part of my belif that the really serious bullies are more likly to get sussed out if they are involved with social groups because other decent people tend to notice these behaviours and perhaps not tollerate them. i know i for one will not assosiate with people who make me uncomfortable.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 12:41:57

Hell - What is your point with that enquiry? That some policemen said there weren't Freemasons? That others were concerned they may have been?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 12:44:23

stickmetotheman, that was incredibly rude i wouldnt expect my children to think it was acceptable to add things like durr to something they said and im guessing you are older than they are, if not you really should be at school.

as you should be well aware within the court system you are required to declair things that do cause a conflict (i know i have had to excuse myself from involvement when family members are also involved, i have also been excused from jury duty due to a personal friendship with a person involved) but the onus is on the person themselves except in some cases to decide if a conflict if actually there.

StickMeToTheMan Mon 08-Oct-12 12:51:03

See me point above about declarations of interest. It may seem to be reasonable that a mason who isn't personally friendly to not feel the need to declare an interest, however they are sworn by blood to protect one another.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:30

Cote - assuming you aren't being deliberately obtuse - the point is that police who are not masons do not want masons involved in investigating crimes of other masons - in this case the masons were police accused of murder.

Non-masonic police are aware that conflicts of loyalty (whether demanded or not as part of signing-up or just how people end up behaving towards fellow brethren) fuck with the criminal justice system.

I wonder what people will say about masons in the police when the Clwyd North Wales care abuse scandal (Waterhouse Report) is released. Presumably it will still be considered a harmless hobby for the husband then. And when the Jersey Haut de la garenne papers are released. And the Islington care abuse scandal D notice is lifted. Scotland and Jersey have worse issues because of smaller communities - the higher percentage of masons in the criminal justice system within a smaller society increases their invincibility.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:01:19

It would be great if all the police who aren't masons declared themselves.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 13:01:45

Good, clear posts, Hell. I salute you. I honestly don't know why people are so anxious to deride 'conspiracy theories' (except the ones about shapeshifting alien lizards, etc). One woman's collusion is another's co-operation. Happens all the time. You can often tell one from the other by the amount of concealment & denial.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 13:02:48

"significant issues where masons appear to be acting under the impression they are somehow required to protect their own"

Or they could be protecting each other because (1) they are friends, and (2) they are colleagues. Have you thought about that?

You must know that the police are a very loyal bunch who tend to protect each other and are known to have lied to inquiries in order to protect a fellow policeman, even if they are not Freemasons.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 13:06:11

how many different people do you need to tell you that the law and your own morals come above any promise to protect anyone.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:07:20

Absolutely Cote - that happens in any walk of life. You tend to know who's friends with who though because they are connected openly in their day to day life. If people are connected but their connection is hidden from open view then you're not going to think ah PC A wold stick up for PC B they go way back - however if you cant' see an open connection/friendship which might imply loyalty and trigger concerns about letting PC A investigate PC B then PC A gets to work on a case where PC B and he do go way back but no one really knows that.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 13:08:42

"the point is that police who are not masons do not want masons involved in investigating crimes of other masons"

So what? Is that supposed to be damning proof of some evil? hmm

Hemlet Mon 08-Oct-12 13:10:48

I've not read the whole thread (14 pages long!!) but if you think that being a Mason is anything to do with being Satanic or any of that guff then you're incredibly ignorant.

I understand that because of the secrecy of their rituals, rumours are going to occur, but there's no need to leap to silly conclusions.

My Husband, Dad and Borther-in-Law are Masons, it's just like a big boys club where they have meetings and discuss issues and yes, perform rituals to move up the the organisation.

It may have had some connotations in the past with 'moving up in the world' etc, but that certainly isn't the case now, and anyone caught trying to use their status as leverage would be immediately dismissed.

amillionyears Mon 08-Oct-12 13:11:26

CoteDazur,do you protect people you know to be guilty?

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 13:14:39

Hell - Are you saying that you need to know where all policemen know each other from? Isn't it enough that they obviously know each other as friends and colleagues?

You don't get that Freemasons are not obliged to help each other, and they are especially not supposed to do so if this will lead to thwarting justice or breaking the law. Freemasons are expected to be people of good moral values and sound character.

So what if there was an inquiry where some policemen wanted to know if others were Freemasons? How is that supposed to be evidence for insidious intent? Seriously.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 13:15:17

No, amillionyears, I don't.

Do you?

hmm

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:15:57

Home affaris committee report in 1997 when Jack Straw tried to introduce requirement for police and judiciary to declare FM membership:

"The government introduced the declaration rule after it was recommended by the Commons home affairs committee in a report published in March 1997. The committee said that "nothing so much undermines public confidence in public institutions as the knowledge that some public servants are members of a secret society one of whose aims is mutual self-advancement".

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmhaff/577s1/has103.htm

The requirement to declare was dropped after the United Lodge threatened legal action under the Human Rights Act.

amillionyears Mon 08-Oct-12 13:16:51

No.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:17:32
CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 13:20:09

Of course they would sue and they should. If the same was demanded of Rotary Club, they would sue, too.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:22:00

Cote - I wonder why the Home Affairs committee claims mutual self-advancement as one of the aims of masonry when as you say there is no requirement of loyalty to one's brethren and therefore no conflict of interest?

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:23:58

You know what, I actually think the members of teh ROtary Club are quite proud of being members of the rotary club and wouldn't care. Same as the WI seeing as they have been compared as a similar situation.

Those in the WI - Do you keep it a secret from anyone not in the WI? Anyone in the Rotary club do the same?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 13:46:38

i rarely disclose my wi membership in rl unless i have to due to the preconcived notion that we are jam fetishists

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:50:32

Ha ha smile Sock - I just asked my friend who's a keen WIer and she said she's out and proud! I don't think a fetish for jam can be considered criminal so you're safe. Are you a closed group? Do you not recruit or invite new members to join then?

When do you feel you have to disclose your WI membership? In what kind of situations?

Charbon Mon 08-Oct-12 13:52:00

Freemasonry is practised by predominantly white men; the same group who exert the most power in society. There is no political equivalence with female freemasonry groups or predominantly women-only groups, such as the oft touted Women's Institute.

I can see why people who benefit from privilege might be in denial about it; it was ever thus.

Their partners and families benefit from that privilege and have a lot invested in it. Despite the emphasis within freemasonry on secrets and the oaths not to reveal them to a non-mason, their partners and families seem to cheerfully believe that they know everything about the organisation and are easily reassured that its influence is benign and harmless. That's a hell of a psychological feat that defies logic, but if you benefit from the privilege associated with it, it's going to help you sleep at night to undertake that contorted logic.

Surely the point of this is that no-one knows whether freemasonry corrupts? Even freemasons themselves who are not in positions of power and influence, cannot know that it hasn't had a bearing on the decisions of those who are?

What we can say is that there have been repeated allegations over the years that freemasonry has subverted the criminal justice process, recruitment and selection exercises, the award of business contracts, planning applications, public inquiries into wrongdoing; in fact virtually every area of public life. So membership of that organisation is likely to damage the trust and confidence of people who expect public officials to act with impartiality.

I'm really glad you're referencing the Daniel Morgan case Hell. If ever there were a case that might wake people up to what's wrong in public life and shed their cloaks of denial, it is that one.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 13:56:31

It's an absolute fucking travesty Charbon, it really is. Just goes to show how successful the masons can be at subverting the course of justice when those that want to put their mind to it. Very scary.

And like I said, not all masons do want to do that at all. But if you're a mason in the criminal justice system you do have at least access and opportunity should you want to.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 13:57:05

need to know where all policemen know each other from? Isn't it enough that they obviously know each other as friends and colleagues?

You're being wilfully obtuse, Cote. Police officers would not be permitted to investigate members of their own family, by blood or marriage, or close friends since childhood who are de-facto relations. Freemasons are "brothers". This isn't just a non-word, it's a meaningful bond and undertaking. On this basis, there's a good argument for disallowing professional investigations against one another. It isn't, however possible, as there's no legal requirement or recognition of the fraternal relationship.

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 13:59:34

A charity which helps my disabled son was struggling financially and on the brink of closing. I applied to the Masons who donated enough to keep them going for another year. We found them to be really friendly and charitable. They had an open day a few weeks after for anyone to go into the lodge and find out more. I did read somewhere that they are now making an effort to be more open, and a lot of the secrecy over the recent decades has been a legacy of Masons being a known target in the Second World War.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 14:00:05

For all those who are Masons on the thread or are married to one - what's the deal with walking away? Do lots of people leave? Is there any kind of lifetime commitment expected? Or is it once you're in, you are expected not to leave?

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 14:02:07

I'm not being "obtuse" hmm

Freemasons are no more "brothers" than Muslim MNers are "sisters", for example. And they would be no more likely to cover up each other's criminal acts than Muslim women would be.

You want to believe that they are all corrupt gangsters. That doesn't mean that they are.

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 14:02:28

I know someone who says he got kicked out because he couldn't pay his lodge fees.

He's a bit of a bullshitter, though, to be fair.

Charbon Mon 08-Oct-12 14:03:53

The secrecy goes back a lot further than the second world war sandycat.

Jimmy Savile did a lot of charitable work. He was a paedophile who gained access to children through his charitable undertakings.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 14:07:23

i had to declair my membership when....

i started doing talks about dv to the wi.
if ive been involved in legal stuff with another member
if a file lands on my desk with the name of someone whom i know to be in my wi.

those are just the ones that pop into my head and are also grounds for me to declair a possible conflict arising from any other way i also socialise with a indervidual.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 14:08:37

Hell - A Freemason can "walk away" whenever he likes. In fact, he will have quit if he fails to pay the dues to his lodge, just like with any other dues-paying organisation.

Seriously, you know so little about Freemasonry that I find it scary that you have made a negative judgement on it. All from prejudice.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 14:10:17

I don't want to believe they're "all corrupt gangsters"! I'm all in favour of mutual support and shared interest groups. I am far less in favour of group members concealing their relationships. It compromises accountability.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 14:12:16

So they are not bad but they make you uncomfortable because you don't know who is there and who isn't?

Charbon Mon 08-Oct-12 14:15:34

Assuming you're a woman, you don't know everything about male freemasonry either Cote. You know less about it than a member who has taken an oath of secrecy and even he cannot know how all freemasons operate. People who deny any wrongdoing are as illogical as those who insist that all freemasons are corrupt.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 14:18:02

Cote - why the assumption that asking a question means the person asking doesn't already know the answer? do you only ever ask questions when you don't know the answer? Or do you sometimes ask questions because while you think you know the answer you are interested in other people's answers or personal experiences because they might challenge or corroborate the answer you think you have already?

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 14:18:15

Yes theyve always been secretive but became more so at this time. I take people as I find them and have no reason to believe that the people I have come into contact with are deserving of such derision.

I would rather make a decision about an organisation based on what I have seen and experienced, rather than hearsay or isolated incidents which could occur in any close group of people. It is a shame and offensive that you are trying to compare the charity I have received from the Masons to allegations against someone who also did charity work.

Charbon Mon 08-Oct-12 14:24:58

It's entirely relevant to link Jimmy Savile to the organisation who gave you money. He was a freemason and it is currently alleged that his membership of that organisation was one of the factors behind him successfully evading detection and prosecution while alive.

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 14:26:00

And have the allegations actually been proved yet, or are you just happy to jump to negative conclusions about people before any allegations have actually been proved?

If they are so secretive, what are people basing their negative opinions on? Surely you must know a great deal about Freemasonry to hold such strong opinions.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 14:26:10

sandy - i don't think that's what charbon is saying at all. As I said up thread my family have taken money from the masons because my grandfather was one, so was my great-grandfather it turns out. If it was my mother in the position of my GM and I had to make her choice, I woud take the mason's money if it meant I could help her die with dignity too.

I think the point is that argument A:

JS did a lot of good works and charity in his time. Therefore I can't possibly believe he did anything bad.

or even arguemtn B:

JS did a lot of good works and charity in his time. His good works exceed his bad works and therefore we shouldn't think of him too badly.

SOunds very similar to arguemnt C:

But the masons do a lot of good works and charity. Surely this means they can't be bad at all?

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 14:32:07

I think I agree Hell. You often hear arguments such as these where the behaviour of one person is used against a whole group and it is prejudiced and wrong in my opinion. I do not think JS charity work can be compared to the Masons as they do not make a display of their giving and it is done with a dignity which I find admirable. I am sure if I mixed with Freemasons there would be some I got on with better than others, but it would be the same with any group of people you mix with. I am aware that they are making an effort to be open but that is very inconvenient for those who are determined to think badly of Freemasonry.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 14:36:44

Is challenging the UK government on a requirement to declare membership of the masons in positions of publc authority part of their efforts to be more open? Maybe I am as naive and ill-read as Cote suggests because that looks to be a move that would suggest non-openness. It would have been inconvenient to someone like me with such bias and prejudice if they hadn't threatened legal action surely?

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 14:38:31

No Charbon it is not relevant at all. Your entire argument is based on allegations. If it is proved that these allegations are true, and he got away with abusing children because he was a Freemason then those involved should be dealt with. Until anything is proved your argument is meaningless.

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 14:46:11

I really do not have a problem with them not wanting to declare membership. If I belonged to a group which was spoken about as the Freemasons have been spoken about on here I would want the choice to declare my membership of such a group. A Freemason declaring membership will not lead to the general public being any more informed about Freemasonry. However I believe the open events I have become aware of will lead to a better understanding and leave people free to make up their own mind. Until people are better informed it would be wrong to force someone to declare membership of an orgainisation of which there is so much ignorance about.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 14:49:56

The question "Why should we reveal our membership?" is far weaker than "Why should you not?"

In public and business life, it's more usual to advertise extra-curricular friendships than to hide them. People generally conceal them only when an unfair advantage is being abused.

Can any of the organisation's supporters actually explain its opposition to disclosure?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 14:54:45

so should nobody challenge the gov with regard to anything?

smacks of ohhhhh its the gov they always get things right and never do anything that breaches peoples rights because they are the gov.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 14:56:51

Oh FFS, StickMeToTheMan
It may seem to be reasonable that a mason who isn't personally friendly to not feel the need to declare an interest,
Indeed so.

however they are sworn by blood to protect one another.

That's nonsense, in both respects. My assertion is at least as valuable as yours, so where does that take you?

Charbon Mon 08-Oct-12 15:01:47

I said upthread that I can see why people who benefit from privilege might be in denial about it and I think the 'good and charitable works' concept often exploits people's human nature. The Freemasons are not secretive about their charitable works; in fact it is probably the most public thing known about them and like those defending Jimmy Savile, is often put forward in mitigation if that organisation or a charitable individual attracts any criticism or risk of exposure.

People who therefore benefit from these 'good works' are more likely to defend allegations about other more nefarious activities practised by that organisation or individual. At the most sinister level, those benefits received buy people's collusion and at a more innocent level, it tricks people into thinking that individuals or organisations who do so much good, cannot do any bad - which is illogical.

Many patients reported that Harold Shipman was a good GP who gave infinite amounts of care to his patients. That didn't mean that he hadn't murdered a large number of them and because he had access to his victims and hid beneath the cloak of respectability and authority where few people questioned his activities, that evil was allowed to flourish for years.

No allegations have been proved about the freemasonry connection, but people are making them and have made them for several years. I am suggesting that instead of clinging on to a blinkered belief that they are true or untrue, it would be more logical for people to suspend judgement and to have more questioning minds.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 15:13:14

HellATwork

For all those who are Masons on the thread or are married to one - what's the deal with walking away? Do lots of people leave? Is there any kind of lifetime commitment expected? Or is it once you're in, you are expected not to leave?

People leave the Craft for all sorts of reasons. Age, boredom, moving away, their partner things it;s some dark and sinister organisation, young kids taking up too much time...

But the masons do a lot of good works and charity. Surely this means they can't be bad at all?

Who's making that argument?
Masons do give a lot to charity. I give a lot to non-Masonic charities. Doesn't make me a good or a bad person, just someone who gives to charity.

The issues seems to be "Ooh the Freemasons are bad, declare your membership".

To which the Freemasons - or at least some - say "Well, we will if it is required; but we would expect you not to single out Freemasons - because the sorts of people that single out groups within society like Freemasons... also pick on Jews, gypsies and homosexuals".

I'm happy to tell anyone who asks if I'm a Freemason; I take public tours through our Lodge buildings for heaven's sake. I'll probably tell anyone who I vote for... but tell me I have to and you'll likely get Molon Labe or equivalent as an answer.

Charbon

You know less about it than a member who has taken an oath of secrecy and even he cannot know how all freemasons operate.

So your suggestion is that no member of any worldwide group can know how all members of that worldwide group behave. Yes, that seems fair, but hardly surprising or relevant...

It's entirely relevant to link Jimmy Savile to the organisation who gave you money. He was a freemason and it is currently alleged that his membership of that organisation was one of the factors behind him successfully evading detection and prosecution while alive.

Hmm. Relevance is in the eye of the beholder, perhaps. Who's doing all this alleging? The same sort of people who allege there were no Moon landings, or "the Jews" were behind 9/11?

garlicbutty
The question "Why should we reveal our membership?" is far weaker than "Why should you not?"

Actually, no it isn't. I have alluded to the fact that amongst many other groups, Freemasons have been singled out in the past. It's another reason why I oppose mandatory ID cards, which is part of the same spectrum - it's a way of the state controllng their population.

Why is it your business what my religion is, what political party I belong to - or if I'm a Freemason?

In public and business life, it's more usual to advertise extra-curricular friendships than to hide them.

Indeed so. Do you disclose co-religionists? Other people who are members of another golf club? Or just friendships?

People generally conceal them only when an unfair advantage is being abused.

Can any of the organisation's supporters actually explain its opposition to disclosure?

Why is it your business that I'm a gay, Jewish Freemason, and why do you want to know?

MrsFruitcake Mon 08-Oct-12 15:17:21

It's true, you do get kicked out if you don't pay your fees.

My Husband was what is called a 'Lewis', the son of a Mason, who was also a Lewis, and was therefore guaranteed entry into Masonry. He walked away after 3 years as he couldn't make time for the meetings and the fees were too expensive. There was no comeback at all, although he will always be considered to have a rank and could re-join at any time he chose.

DHs father is very high ranking officer now, his job is virtually full-time and he is involved with 2 large and local charities and fundraising for them.

The Freemasons look after not only their own, but others too.

Rumours about Freemasonry have existed for many years. I think this is because people are naturally wary of a society which keeps itself to itself.

MrsFruitcake Mon 08-Oct-12 15:19:20

Re the fees thing - it is at least very difficult for you to continue if you don't pay your fees...not sure if you could actually get booted out, as my husband chose to jump before the situation got to that.

Jelly15 Mon 08-Oct-12 15:26:32

In my area many local councillors are members and when tradesmen are invited to put in quotes for work only the tradesmen that are Freemasons get the job. This has been going on for years and it is so unfair.

I was at a restaurant with friends and a man came in clocked our freind and they did a funny handshake/hug thing. I asked DH about it and he said that our friend was I freemason - I never knew, but if I see him do the funny handshake again I know I will piss myself laughing.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 15:26:47

MrsFruitcake

Depending on which constitution of Freemasonry you are under it is possible to be an unattached Mason (for example, your Lodge may be erased as members die off, and you can't hold meetings with too few members). You can visit other Lodges, while unattached, but the guidance used to be that you shouldn't visit any Lodge more that twice while unattached.

You would be excluded from Freemasonry if you hadn't paid your dues. When you leave a Lodge, or it is erased, you get what is called a Clearance certificate, which shows you were in good standing when you left.

I visited a a couple, found one that suited me and affiliated to it. I'm a member of several Lodges.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 15:29:18

Jelly15
In my area many local councillors are members and when tradesmen are invited to put in quotes for work only the tradesmen that are Freemasons get the job.

I don't actually believe that, but if true that's a criminal offence and you should report it - I'm sure the procurement team would be delighted to deal with that...

Jelly15 Mon 08-Oct-12 15:36:40

A local builder said he did report it a few years ago, after years of putting in tenders and quotes and always losing out to two other local companies, but nothing ever came of it.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 15:38:57

Onemorechap: "To which the Freemasons - or at least some - say "Well, we will if it is required; but we would expect you not to single out Freemasons - because the sorts of people that single out groups within society like Freemasons... also pick on Jews, gypsies and homosexuals"."

Being Jewish is both a protected racial and religious characteristic under anti-discrimination law. Gypsies, as a distinct racial group and arguably a degree of religious homogeny but more accurately cultural rights, homosexuals are protected as all sexual orientation is protected - because sexual orientation it is a characteristic that a lot of people feel is something inherent to one's identity and to a certain degree biology and it is not a choice - like choosing to be born Jewish or into the Jewish religion is not really a choice, and like being born a gypsy is not a choice.

Two questions:

1. At what point does becoming a Freemason not be a choice? When individuals feel obliged to sign up because their parents are Freemasons? I can see that happens at aristocracy levels and titles of certain lodges are expected to go to certain relatives through the ages so perhaps that is true?
2. Or at what point does being a Freemason affects one's entire life philosophy and moral bearings like a religion does? I suppose I am arguing with you on this one if I am saying that it provides opportunities for corruption in people with public authority or in positions of wealth and power because I would say being a Freemason has influenced their actions for the bad. But then power's quite good at corrupting all by itself so am not sure sure about that one.
3. At what point does Freemasonry require you to wear either clothes or style your hair or wear a hat or have a traditionally 'Freemasonic' name that others can discard your CV on the basis of? I agree you have to attend a certain building (mosque/church/lodge).

I think your answers to those questions are important because If I agree with you that requiring Freemasons to make declarations of membership in public office is akin to the Nazis making the Jews wear the Star of David (I call Godwin's Law on you btw because I'm guessing I'm the Nazi in your analogy) then I would have to believe being a Freemason is also not a choice but in some way either biologically or inherited in some other way and that being a Freemason marks you out in some way you cannot possibly hide even if you tried.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 15:45:27

Another reason Jelly15 - it's anti-competitive (provides motivation for businesses to behave like a cartel) in certain circumstances which is unlawful - but because those losing out are not in a position to know who is a freemason or not involved in the tender and bid process, they would have no idea they were being acted against by a cartel.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 15:52:27

OMC, I'm not demonising, satanising or whatever. It's the concealment that bothers me. My reasons have been clearly stated, by me and others, and you understand them I'm sure.

If you're gay and seem to award an abnormal proportion of business/acquittals/whatever to other gay men, a potential bias would be noticed and investigated. Likewise for any shared quality, other than professional competence. If you and your beneficiaries were all members of the same golf club or supporters of the same football team, that too would be noticed.

But a hidden quality can't be noticed. That's my objection - not the existence of the damn network (I've got a problem with male-only institutions but that's another thread) or its ranks & rituals. I object to the concealment, and to the Order's insistence on its protection.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 15:52:53

HellATwork

See, I said I'd answer questions grin

Two questions:
You want to think about that some more grin?

1. At what point does becoming a Freemason not be a choice? When individuals feel obliged to sign up because their parents are Freemasons? I can see that happens at aristocracy levels and titles of certain lodges are expected to go to certain relatives through the ages so perhaps that is true?

Never. Freemasonry requires perfect freedom of choice, and you're asked to testify that when you join.

2. Or at what point does being a Freemason affects one's entire life philosophy and moral bearings like a religion does? I suppose I am arguing with you on this one if I am saying that it provides opportunities for corruption in people with public authority or in positions of wealth and power because I would say being a Freemason has influenced their actions for the bad. But then power's quite good at corrupting all by itself so am not sure sure about that one.

3. At what point does Freemasonry require you to wear either clothes or style your hair or wear a hat or have a traditionally 'Freemasonic' name that others can discard your CV on the basis of? I agree you have to attend a certain building (mosque/church/lodge).

There are certain standards of dress you have to observe, which may make you stand out - conservative business dress on certain Lodge days - and as you say, you have to attend a temple/lodge.

Depends upon your approach. It should affect your whole life, becuase you are attempting to live your live according to strict moral principles and practice virtues.

You can make your judgement according to those answers, but do be aware
some folk disapproved of Freemasonry at all sorts of times.

garlicbutty Mon 08-Oct-12 15:56:06

* Adding to this: a potential bias would be noticed and investigated. I'm aware of at least two High Court judges who've been censured for passing excessively light judgement on criminals who share their old school or regiment. Again, those qualities are not hidden. Membership of an organisation which does comprise many powerful members shouldn't be hidden, either.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 15:58:00

garlicbutty

If you're gay and seem to award an abnormal proportion of business/acquittals/whatever to other gay men,

Remind me again, how do you know if someone is gay?

I object to the concealment, and to the Order's insistence on its protection.

See, inter alia www.pglel.co.uk/About_Freemasonry_Pages/Your_questions.asp
members are free to speak openly about freemasonry

and www.ugle.org.uk/what-is-masonry/frequently-asked-questions/
^Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?
Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.^

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 16:00:00

bollocks would anybody actually notice the handshake and identify it as odd.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:00:51

garlicbutty
Membership of an organisation which does comprise many powerful members shouldn't be hidden, either.

Who decides what should be published and recorded?

I believe that rad fems favour each other in business, therefore I want published list of all members of radical feminist organisations.

Well, it's the Jews, innit, we need to be able to map all their financial dealings

Them muslims, and their secret banking, they're all tax dodgers...

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 16:00:54

OMC: OK so freemasonry is not a religion or a race but claims protection alongside religion and race as a separate category in its own protected right. If standing outside a certain building in certain clothes at certain times of the day marks you out as a religion then the OAPs queuing outside my local Bingo Hall strike me in a whole new way. I never knew.

But as you accept that it should affect your whole life including your moral compass (for the good as you point out), what is this new category of protection against discrimination Freemasons should enjoy? Is it the same one as Scientology? Or perhaps Trade Unions? Is it claiming protection under freedom of association for political purposes?

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:02:13

Sockreturningpixie
bollocks would anybody actually notice the handshake and identify it as odd.

Too right.
I'd pay £5 to a charity of your choice if any 3rd party spotted a masonic handshake from me.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 16:04:23

Is power classed as a material gain? I guess money is or financial benefit classed as material but not sure how power is. Power is the key to wealth but not actually wealth.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:19:55

HellATwork

so freemasonry is not a religion or a race but claims protection alongside religion and race as a separate category in its own protected right.

What? Where do you get that from?

what is this new category of protection against discrimination Freemasons should enjoy?

Where did you get that from? I never suggested that...

I did suggest that the sort of people that want to record - compulsorily - memberships of organisations have a bad history. Follow some of the links...

and see what good company you're in:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppression_of_Freemasonry

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:21:33

HellATwork
Is power classed as a material gain? I guess money is or financial benefit classed as material but not sure how power is. Power is the key to wealth but not actually wealth.

You are wriggling.
Obviously. Come on, try harder to show where and why Freemasonry should be singled out for this sort of invidious attention.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 16:32:48

hmmm well then what you said puzzles me, if I'm like a Nazi (look what good company I'm in - surely the point of that comment no?) then the Freemasons as the role of persecuted are like Jews and gypsies and homosexuals

That's your point isn't it, or so I thought? - your wikipedia link would suggest so and your attempt to draw an analogy between me suggesting Freemasons in public office should be required to declare? If Freemasons should not be singled out to require this and you are saying to do so would be like requiring all Jews, gypsies and everyone in the world in the world to declare their sexuality if they held public office that is who you are comparing yourself.You support and agree with the United Lodge's challenge on legal grounds so on that basis you must be claiming similar assertions as they stated their grounds? They too are arguing being a freemason is comparable to being religious or protection under freedom of association as a protection for political rights necessary in a democracy. Is being a Freemason a fundamental human right and should it be protected as such? That's the arguemnt I thought you were making when comparing freemasons with other protected groups like religion or race.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:43:59

HellATwork

I'm answering for myself.
I've said nothing about agreeing with any individual or organisation's stance on this thread, and you're being quite naughty to straw-man that in.

I am - as you suggest - pointing out that targeteting Freemasons as a dodgy group was something the Nazis did; and the Communists, and many Islamic countries.

I don't believe that the UK should do this, as I similarly support the right of Muslims to build mosques here, people to be allowed to belong to trade unions - as I do, and political parties - I've been a member of more than one.

I understand some countries disapprove of other organisations I belong to - Amnesty, for one - should I have to disclose that, too?

I'll ask you a couple of questions if you're up for that?

1. Are you suggesting that people should be compelled to state whether they are/were Freemasons or not.

2. Is it your contention that this should be only Freemasons?
2a) If so, why only Freemasons
2b) If not, then who decides the other target groups.

3. Do you think that individuals right to associate should be proscribed, and in what circumstances - and who should be the arbiters of this.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 16:47:48

No I am asking why SHOULD it be singled out so as to fall within the groups protected against discrimination as you are claiming. We have lots of instances in financial markets regulations where traders have to submit to credit checks, childcare providers have to submit to crb checks, as an employee of a large plc in the past I have had to submit to personal reference checks, i have to register any invites and refusal of gifts in a central register at work. However, I could quite rightly say no to giving any information about my race, religion, political affiliations if I wanted to and still get the job. The norm is that in every day life and purely for employment purposes lots of different people submit to checks that are about mitigating risk of malpractice in office.

Society has moved on, we may not like it and yes, it's all a bit Big Brother - but it means that to claim that freemasonry is exempt from background checks or declarations in employment is to argue that freemasonry is in a special protected class - like race, religion - that cannot be consciously collated without anonymous protections (for reporting statistics purposes as in race and religion and disability) in order to inform on access to and representation in employment for those groups - but I thought you were saying it is something that people should not be required to declare because they be discriminated against for it. No?

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 16:55:00

So that means no, then?

I have to disclose hospitality/gifts from suppliers, no problem.
My employer asks which political party I'm in? Go piss up a rope.

I have to say if I belong to a pressure group, campaigning organisation, church, masonic Lodge, Rotary club, Round Table, Foresters? I'd tell them to go pound sand up their ass.

Because you think there's something suspicious about me, I have to tell you what organisations I belong to? Swivel.

Make it law... go on. I'll obey the law; I'll campaign against it passing - as I did ID cards (your view on those, by the way?)

I'll be looking forward to tallying membership in all those radical feminist organisations, too. I'm sure they favour each other....

Viperidae Mon 08-Oct-12 17:01:34

I really think some of you are just determined to think what you want to about freemasons despite some very reasoned answers. Well done OneMoreChap you are doing a sterling job.

My experience has been exactly that of all the other masons' partners on here but it seems pointless repeating it again.

If anyone ever finds proof of these lodges that run the world could you please let us know where to apply as DS would far sooner join that one than the bog standard drinking and charity one DH is in!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 17:10:22

being a mason does not exempt you from all those checks.why should it require you to undergo additional ones

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 17:14:51

Do you hold a position in public office OMC? Because unless you do I wouldn't expect anyone to have to declare their membership so if you don't hold a position in public office then at least try and be intentionally rude if you want to swear at me because I haven't said anything about requiring anyone who wasn't so the command to swivel (swivel on what btw? I always wonder that when people use that as an insult. Is it supposed to be swivel on my finger or swivel on my penis or swivel on that bar stool over there.) It wouldn't affect you in any other way other choosing between being a freemason or taking a job in public office?

Are the freemasons a campaigning organisation? Or a church? Or are they politicially motivated? Do Rotary Club members have a requirement for mutual furtherance? I am just trying to understand why, if it is just a hobby and a nice relaxing way to spend time, is it morally repugnant to you to consider having to tell people about it. Yo invite other people to join don't you? You want friends to know what a great way to spend time it is? But if legislation required you to declare your membership in applying for a role in public office, you would tell them to swivel because you consider it as integral a part of your identity as race, religion, political and sexuality that no job should ever require you to declare it. I am just trying to understand why that is.

WkdSM Mon 08-Oct-12 17:15:58

Just as an aside here - if I do have to declare I am a Freemason - what do you expect to happen?

If I am discriminated against and do not get a job because of that - because the person who interviews me has a prejudicial view of freemasonry as illustrated on this forum - how do I fight that discrimination?

Will there be checks as to how many freemasons have been employed and if over a certain % they will be banned from employing any more?

How will it be reported? Who will judge what % of contracts rewarded to freemasons is too high?

We are not asking for special exemptions - just not to be singled out. The whole bit about freemasons being targeted by intolerant regimes is because we firmly believe that no one should be excluded for their religious choices. Some brave people, non-freemasons as well as freemasons, have stood up for those being persecuted - and have become targets themselves.

How do we prove a negative - how do I prove we are not part of some world wide consipracy to take over the world and make everyone believe that faith, truth, charity are good things? Apolgies to aetheists there - I think you have every right to believe (or not). I may not agree with you but I respect your decision.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 17:18:43

I don't support ID cards. I might support ID cards for people in public office if they suddenly started to not want to give their names or be identified as being in public office.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 17:24:15

we firmly believe that no one should be excluded for their religious choices.

No you don't. If I joined I'd have to say I believed in a Supreme Being.

I don't and so you discriminate against me despite that being my religious choice.

sandycat Mon 08-Oct-12 17:27:26

Charbon- you stated earlier some are defending Jimmy Saville, who? All I can see is that some including myself want to see evidence before making a judgement. We live in a country in which you are innocent until proven guilty. Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion but that is not sufficient to start dictating to any group of people how they should conduct themselves. If it is shown to be true then I will have sufficient evidence to hold an opinion on JS. Until then I cannot hold a strong without any fact based evidence.

The Freemasonry issue is only relevant if there was a cover up, and even then, the actions of an isolated group are not enough to condemn the majority. Although JS was a Freemason, he wasn't donating to charity via Freemasonry but via his own charities as far as I have read in the press. If it is shown that there is an ethos of covering up guilt in Freemasonry then of course thats entirely different. However nobody has presented much other then opinions, conspiracy theories and heresay.

I do not hold particularly strong views on Freemasonry but as I have said I take people as I find them and I have found them caring and charitable. If anyone can link to evidence showing that there is an ethos of collusion in Freemasonry (not just isolated incidents) then I would be interested to read such information.

WkdSM Mon 08-Oct-12 17:30:05

Gosh - semantics - I do not think aetheism is a religious choice as it is not a religion. Religious choices as in choosing which religion you belong to / choose to participate in / believe in. Aetheism is surely an expression of non-belief rather than belief.
The reason why you have to believe in a greater authority than ourselves has already been explained further up the thread.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 17:30:32

HellATwork
Do you hold a position in public office OMC?

Not at the moment, unless you count as a volunteer emergency service worker.

Because unless you do I wouldn't expect anyone to have to declare their membership

Is that just Freemasonry, or anything else, and who decides what?

so if you don't hold a position in public office then at least try and be intentionally rude

Is that actually what you meant?

if you want to swear at me because I haven't said anything about requiring anyone who wasn't

no, but you've been very careful not to answer what other organisations and who'd decide which positions...

so the command to swivel

I think you're confusing "you HellATwork" with generic "You officious bastards" ^

(swivel on what btw? I always wonder that when people use that as an insult. Is it supposed to be swivel on my finger or swivel on my penis or swivel on that bar stool over there.)

I think it your (generic) finger.

It wouldn't affect you in any other way other choosing between being a freemason or taking a job in public office?

But why stop at Freemasons?

Are the freemasons a campaigning organisation? Or a church? Or are they politicially motivated?

Not relevant

Do Rotary Club members have a requirement for mutual furtherance?

only peripherally after responsibilities to the law, their family and business do Freemasons.

I am just trying to understand why, if it is just a hobby and a nice relaxing way to spend time, is it morally repugnant to you to consider having to tell people about it.

I tell all my friends about it, workmates and assorted people on web forums. Having some busybody state saying what I can and can't do is anathema to me. (cf the ID card example I've given. Ask me on the street who I am, and I'll say OMC. Demand I produce papers, and I'll ask by what authority.)

Yo invite other people to join don't you? You want friends to know what a great way to spend time it is? But if legislation required you to declare your membership in applying for a role in public office,

You're really not reading what I say, are you...

Make it law... go on. I'll obey the law;

you would tell them to swivel
nope, not if it was the law.

because you consider it as integral a part of your identity as race, religion, political and sexuality that no job should ever require you to declare it.^

Astonishing. I'm sorry, you really have to point out where I said that. Anywhere. The word you are scrabbling for is strawman.

I am just trying to understand why that is.

You really, really aren't.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 17:31:28

All very good questions WkdSM. I am thinking about them - because as you point out what are the logical conclusions of such a requirement? (That is kind of what I am getting at with on what grounds is protection from declaration sought)

Is there a rough estimate of how many Freemasons exist in the UK? I will look after dinner.

Say it was declared and stats for numbers of freemasons across members of Parliament, the police, social services and judiciary, entire criminal justice system and it was discovered that over 50%/60%/70% (or more or less) were freemasons despite the number of masons in the population as a whole not matching with the number in the criminal justice system. I wonder how all the non-masons would feel about that. I bet the number of people joining the masons would go up. Would be great for recruitment.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 17:34:34

This thread's interesting and it got me reading about it. I found numerous explanations from Masonic societies all saying much the same thing, but this statement grabbed my interest:

Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional methods of proving that he is a Freemason which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known.

One more chap, what are these methods of proof and why are they secret? If it's just to prove membership when visiting another lodge, why don't you have a membership card and photo ID like every other club?

Or is it because these methods of proof are used in other situations by some freemasons, to gain advantage - and the non-masons in the room/dealing with the written tender, wouldn't notice, because those 'methods' are secret only to fellow masons?

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 17:35:16

Don't know the numbers as the obligation to report masonic membership ended 45 years ago; they used to reckon about 10% of men in East Lancashire where in the Craft.

Incidentally, you'd expect to find more charitable/good works type people involved in Freemasonry...because it's a charitable organisation [e.g I volunteer for a wide range of "good works"]

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 17:36:52

The right not to have any belief at all - and not to be discriminated against because of that, is covered by law. Why is freemasonry exempt from that?

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 17:39:10

badinage

One more chap, what are these methods of proof and why are they secret?

It depends.
Usually testimony of a well known brother (i.e Oh, yeah, I met him at Lodge such and such) or knowing details of our ceremonies.

If it's just to prove membership when visiting another lodge, why don't you have a membership card and photo ID like every other club?

Why should we. We prefer it this way...

Or is it because these methods of proof are used in other situations by some freemasons, to gain advantage - and the non-masons in the room/dealing with the written tender, wouldn't notice, because those 'methods' are secret only to fellow masons?

No, and that's silly.
If anyone was trying to get advantage why would disclose it to people not privy to your connection. You'd say "Hey, badinage, give my bid priority" privately.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 17:41:31

badinage
The right not to have any belief at all - and not to be discriminated against because of that, is covered by law. Why is freemasonry exempt from that?

Because it's an organisation for people who believe in a Supreme Being?
As a technical point, I believe it's profess a belief in a Supreme Being, and we don't ask questions - which is why we have people in of all religions. (^ssh and none^)

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 17:47:18

badinage - that's what I am trying to work out? Say I'm a woman and I am atheist. I'm guessing I can't join my local lodge. I'm not interested in joining a woman's lodge, I want to join the lodge to meet men in the area of business I work in because it is male dominated and it would be a great route of introduction. I also prefer the soft furnishings at my local (men's) temple and the architecture is much more aesthetically pleasing being of great historical significance. The woman's lodge in comparison could be viewed as a pre-fab monstrosity. However, that network and those facilities are closed to me. I am not permitted to be a member. What alternative network can I join that has the potential to connect me to men in positions of power that I wouldn't otherwise have the option of meeting over drinks and dinner?

In law, the basis on which I am refused access to is that the freemason's right to exclude me trumps my right to demand access. On what grounds though? Like I could be refused to join a monastery? Or like I could be refused to join a feminist meeting (not possible in law actually so not a good example)?

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 17:50:32

But you wouldn't say 'give my bid priority' because you'd be penalised for trying to gain a pecuniary advantage and it would be overt. Whereas if you showed a freemasonry signal or form of words that would only be recognised by a fellow mason - and that person wasn't a mason, you'd have nothing to lose. They wouldn't know you were trying to gain an advantage, so you wouldn't be penalised. You might gain something though, if encountering a freemason who was also corrupt.

Are you saying that there are no signs, signals and forms of words that must be kept secret, that prove you are a freemason?

Sorry, I don't believe it's just because of personal preference that you don't have a membersip card like any other organisation. I'd be surprised if anyone did.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 17:52:59

i know a mason who is apsolutly dead against any type of religon describes himself as atheist his supreme being is in his words 'queen and country'

oohlaalaa Mon 08-Oct-12 18:01:20

YABU. My Dad is a Freemason, he's not secretive over the fact, and they are very supportive of each other, and when one person has fallen on hard times, helped him out. In my opinion his freemason friends are all very nice.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 18:30:22

" I want to join the lodge to meet men in the area of business I work in because it is male dominated and it would be a great route of introduction"

You would not even be admitted into the women's Order if that is the reason why you want in.

amillionyears Mon 08-Oct-12 18:32:21

OneMoreChap,you are the head of a lodge.
Who do you have to answer to?

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 19:15:21

"If it's just to prove membership when visiting another lodge, why don't you have a membership card and photo ID like every other club?"

Tradition. You need to remember that Freemasonry dates back to actual masons (builders) of the Middle Ages who were free to travel and had other privileges because of their skills, and who had no membership card and photo ID, of course.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 19:27:39

I don't believe that it's tradition, any more than I believe it's because of a preference not to have a membership card like everywhere else. If people believe these nonsensical explanations, more fool them.

If the freemasonry movement wanted people to believe that these methods of proof regarding membership are personal preference or because of an attachment to tradition, they would state openly what those methods of proof are. Because no-one with a functioning brain would believe the explanations being given on this thread.

It is precisely because there have been allegations about handshakes and phrases being used in order to make gains, that the public are suspicious about freemasons. If they wanted to stop the speculation, they wouldn't bind their members to strict confidentiality about them and they would be public knowledge.

WkdSM Mon 08-Oct-12 19:32:50

Totally agree with Cote - if you approached our Ladies Lodge (which incidentally is held in the same room in the same building as the men's meetings) and said it was to meet business people and improve your network you would be told in no uncertain terms that we would not be a suitable place for you to do that.

Join a business networking club (of which there are many) which are specifically set up to help people network and get more work. Try the breakfast clubs, learn golf - join the ladies section and then go to all the socials, and volunteer to play in the mixed matches. Research your targets and join clubs they belong to if that is what you want to do. of learn which churches they attend and track them down there. Or what charities they support and volunteer when you know they will be there.

Your local lodge is not really the place to try and get work - as far as I know, we have the CEO of a bank, a bus driver, a supermarket shelf stacker, a camera salesman, a man who runs a coach company, a haulage specialist, in one of DH's lodge - and an awful lot of retired people! That does seem to have skipped notice that a lot of masons are older and have retired and therefore would have limited influence re granting contracts.

One chap did ask DH if he had any jobs going as his wife was starting back to work after having 2 kids and he knows that DH really supports flexible working. DH told him to ask her to send in a CV and he would pass it on to the relevant department - no more or less than you would do for anyone you knew who asked the same question.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 19:47:02

But why the segregation of men and women? I disapprove of all single sex institutions. Why if I shared the same aims as male freemasons and wasn't trying to profit from my association, can I not join just because I'm a woman? I can lie about my atheism and it sounds as though some of these Upstanding Men of Repute do just that - lie. I can't lie about my sex though, can I?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 19:53:45

you can join the womans freemasons

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 19:55:24

if you disapprove then why would you want to join?

lots of people are more comfortable in single sex enviroments for certain things why should you get to make that choice for them?

what makes your disapproval more valid than my approval?

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Oct-12 19:56:54

badinage - Believe it or not, nobody is trying to convince you. People ask questions, others answer them. That is all. If you want to believe conspiracy theories instead, nobody will try to stop you.

WkdSM Mon 08-Oct-12 20:05:41

You need to consider the institution as a 'child of it's time' - when it started (many differing opinions on exactly when / how but a long time ago!!) - women did not have the vote, did not own property for the most part in their own right and did not work outside the home.

Just as the Church of England is slowly accepting women as ministers etc things will probably gradualy change, but it will not happen quickly.

They are considered as two separate entities (again PGA and women's PGA) and there have been great strides to gain an acceptance and understanding of women within freemasonry. That our Lodges are now invited to meet at the men's lodges is a great step forward.

I would note that DH belonged to Round Table (one of whose aims and objects is 'to develop the acquaintance of young men' and which was specifically set up as a business networking group) and I belonged to Ladies Circle. I could not join Table as I was not in possession of a penis, but he could not join Ladies Circle as he was. However, both institutions work together and separately to have fun and raise money for charities. No one is howling for them to carry identity cards and produce them or declare their membership.

I accept that you may not like the fact that there are separate groups for men and women - but that is the way of it today - it may change in the future.

getoffthecoffeetable Mon 08-Oct-12 20:11:30

I think it's a sad state of affairs Stickit that you have judged all freemasons and decided that they are "dangerously shady" just because they are a group that keeps the details of their members and their practices from people like you.
Just because you do not understand something does not mean it should be made illegal. Freemasons do an awful lot of charity work, yes they don't advertise this, why should they?
We have the privilege to be able to be members of any secret society without having to justify it to anyone, including, thankfully, you. It is the nature of living in a democracy.
If the charges against JS are true and there were other people involved, they will be prosecuted, regardless of what organisational memberships they might have. To think this is not the case is to do an injustice to all public officers who have sworn to protect you and I. They deserve your respect until it has been proven otherwise.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 20:22:40

Is that why you think there's the segregation pixie? Really?

Even the official pages I've read today don't insult people's intelligence that much. They just say that it's like that because it always has been.

The scouting movement used to say that and realised it was an indefensible argument in a modern society, so they opened it up to girls.

A lot of men disapproved of women getting equal employment rights years ago, but the law intervened and said that they were no longer allowed to discriminate. A lot of working men's clubs wouldn't admit people of colour to the membership in the 60s and early 70s. The law intervened and said they were no longer allowed to restrict membership on the grounds of race and colour. So we have precedence that the rights of women and people of colour to fair and equal treatment were held to be more valid than men's wishes to deny them. So the answer to your question is the same - because it's not fair and 'I'm not comfortable around women' isn't a credible defence to maintain that position.

By creating your own single-sex institutions you're just adding to the problem, rather than challenging it and fighting the inherent sexism.

They are considered as two separate entities (again PGA and women's PGA) and there have been great strides to gain an acceptance and understanding of women within freemasonry. That our Lodges are now invited to meet at the men's lodges is a great step forward.

Really? Grown men in 2012 still need to 'accept and understand women'? If so, how does a ban on women further these 'strides'?

You think this is progress?

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 20:28:39

"" I want to join the lodge to meet men in the area of business I work in because it is male dominated and it would be a great route of introduction"

You would not even be admitted into the women's Order if that is the reason why you want in."

That's interesting Cote - why would wanting to join a lodge in order to network professionally exclude anyone joining? Is professional networking within the lodges not allowed? If it is forbidden how is that enforced? It would be interesting to know how many freemasons are expelled for professionally networking within lodges.

I think I get what you're saying OMC about being able to lie about believing in a supreme being in order to join and everyone turning a blind eye due to the use of the word "profess" which does not require actual belief - just the willingness to say you do (as you pointed out):

"The right not to have any belief at all - and not to be discriminated against because of that, is covered by law. Why is freemasonry exempt from that?

Because it's an organisation for people who believe in a Supreme Being?
As a technical point, I believe it's profess a belief in a Supreme Being, and we don't ask questions - which is why we have people in of all religions. (^ssh and none^)"

So a belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its texts would be fine? It's not required for the supreme being to be a deity of any kind because freemasonry is not claiming any religious basis for the ability to discriminate against me?

As long as you got a text and a willingness to lie about your belief as being in a supreme being, atheists are welcome to join. Got it. And if there's no requirement for the supreme being to be a deity you don't even have to lie about being humanist or atheist in persuasion and you will be allowed to join.

I was also thinking on the walk home about this and was wondering if pre/post/no op trans males and females can join the freemasons?

Sorry OMC you did ask to ask questions and you are providing much food for thought now you are not quite so angry.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 20:33:13

so what if its because thats the way its always been and i dont doubt that.

it still stands that my preferance is to not join many social things that are mixed i pointed that out as a personal preferance just as you pointed out that you are hmm about clubs that arnt mixed. and by attempting to claim that my preferance insults other peoples inteligence is bigoted rude and idiotic.

some people are compleatly happy with single sex things those that arnt are perfectly free to not join them.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 20:35:45

and im a woman not a man

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 20:39:34

amillionyears
OneMoreChap,you are the head of a lodge.

I was Master of a Lodge.

Who do you have to answer to?
I was elected by my brethren.
I ruled the Lodge. I had Wardens and Deacons.
I decided the ceremonies we did, and where we gave Charity.
I decided whom we would admit as visitors - although Provincial and Grand Officers would be given admittance.

After my term in office I voted for my successor. Who ruled etc. ...

badinage
I don't believe that it's tradition

What do you believe the; enlighten us?
If people believe these nonsensical explanations, more fool them.

Point a finger, 3 point back at you.

If the freemasonry movement wanted people to believe that these methods of proof regarding membership are personal preference or because of an attachment to tradition, they would state openly what those methods of proof are. Because no-one with a functioning brain would believe the explanations being given on this thread.

Alternatively, they might not give a toss what you think. I've answered you politely. I don't want you to think that's because you have an opinion I value.

HellATwork
I'm not angry. I'm bored.
OMC about being able to lie about believing in a supreme being

Again, strawman. You evidently have little comprehension of the written word, and sorry, I've been patient long enough. You no longer deserve the courtesy of an answer from me. I think you are a bigot, and potentially a fascist - who would rule others by authority. I will not engage further with you.

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 20:41:13

The Lord Of Rudeness spaketh and thus revealed himself.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 20:47:13

WkdSM - shit - did your DH report that bloke for asking him about jobs suitable for his wife? Must have been awful and really embarrassing for the other bloke to not have realised what he was doing - and for your DH too actually , I suppose in the context of that I do kind of get what you and Cote are saying about that being absolutely frowned upon using a lodge for - was he new? What happened? Did your Dh have to have a word with someone higher up? I wouldn't have put myself in the position of passing on the CV to be honest because if professional networking is so discouraged as to not allow people to join because of it, then presumably it's also a reason why people are not only not let in, but also kicked out. Obviously your DH acted entirely honourably but if people are told not to use the lodge as a professional network and not allowed to join if they are going to do this how is it enforced?

"One chap did ask DH if he had any jobs going as his wife was starting back to work after having 2 kids and he knows that DH really supports flexible working. DH told him to ask her to send in a CV and he would pass it on to the relevant department - no more or less than you would do for anyone you knew who asked the same question."

Am just looking up my local lodge - it's quite a famous one - rumoured to have a number of influential people in it (or at least did and the sons seem to join the because their fathers joined a particular lodge so am assuming they do currently too but maybe not - live in Westminster so hardly surprising). I bet if you were allowed to professionally network within the freemasons anyone joining could get a fantastic job through them - if you're not a woman or an atheist obviously. Can't even find a woman's lodge at the moment but maybe I'll give the men's lodge a go first anyway.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 20:49:26

Why is the women being invited to meet in the men's lodges a step forward?

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 20:50:52

Yes Linerunner. Give people enough rope and they will hang themselves. wink

Any freemason who wanted to give the general public a better impression of freemasonry, especially in the coming months when the finger is going to be be pointed most acutely at that organisation's activities, is going to be extremely frustrated by these poor efforts.

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 20:53:03

A bit of a PR disaster, as they say.

CSIJanner Mon 08-Oct-12 20:54:12

It's not a secret society. It's a society with secrets. Which you can google. so not so secret after all.

OH would like to point out that the master doesn't choose the charity or his successor. The former is a collective pool of charities and the latter is an open election. And he never had to lift his trouser leg much

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 20:59:06

You can google Darth Vader as well. Not sure what that proves, mind.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 20:59:39

Ask your 'OH' (does that mean your partner?) what the Methods of Proof of being a Freemason are and why they are secret please CSI? You can't get those on a google search and the freemasons and their partners won't tell us on the thread.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 21:00:55

Sorry WkdSM above qn was from reading your post above - am just catching up.

Another question: How do SO MANY people (well everyone on this thread) know about the freemason's charity work if they don't publicise it?

If we don't know who are freemasons because they don't want to identify themselves then how do we know it's not freemasons telling us what good works freemasons do? And at the same time telling us ooh those freemasons, they're ever so modest, they never mention their good works to anyone!

That's what keeps coming up - it is a catch 22.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 21:03:34

i think omc was very kind in answering your questions despite your rudeness and the twisting of words that you are so fond of.

amillionyears Mon 08-Oct-12 21:04:38

You were MASTER of a lodge.
Did you not have to answer to anyone above you?
Or are you saying you had complete control of your lodge,and didnt have to report to someone higher up.

MummysHappyPills Mon 08-Oct-12 21:09:37

It's just like scouts for grown ups. A bit wanky, but nothing sinister I don't think. Films like the da Vinci code have made it seem all dark and mysterious, but I honestly don't think it is that exciting. If they had any involvement with the js scandal, tbh I would think that would be a small minority, and paedophile rings sadly would probably find another way of operating. sad

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 21:09:47

getoffthetable:

"If the charges against JS are true and there were other people involved, they will be prosecuted, regardless of what organisational memberships they might have. To think this is not the case is to do an injustice to all public officers who have sworn to protect you and I. They deserve your respect until it has been proven otherwise."

Respect for what? Everyone deserves respect as an individual human being granted. Do they deserve respect as an organisation? Why would that be? Most organisations I interact with earn my respect. Only the government (with a vague nod towards social contractariansim Hobbes et al) deserves my respect and therefore by choosing to live in a democratic state I am obliged to respect the government as an organisiation - and consequently the laws of the land. Do they make rules or laws I have to obey? Did I vote them in? Does respect mean being forbidden to criticise an organisation? I would love to know what you meant that by phrase. It is rich in ambiguity that's for sure.

I take it from your lovely sunny optimism you didn't read any of the links I provided about the non-masonic police desperately trying to excise the grip of their masonic colleagues successful attempts to pervert the course of justice in various child abuse care home scandals and the case of Daniel Morgan.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 21:44:00

Ah okay I see OMC spontaneously self-combusted - that was a bit weird?

So from "I'm the mason from the other thread. Ask away..." at 16:42 to less than 4 hours later at 20:39 - "You evidently have little comprehension of the written word, and sorry, I've been patient long enough. You no longer deserve the courtesy of an answer from me. I think you are a bigot, and potentially a fascist - who would rule others by authority. I will not engage further with you." I didn't swear at him even generically? Was I actually rude to him and I am completely oblivious? (well if I'll get an honest answer anywhere it will be here - awaits flaming...eugh I hate this am often on the back foot socially when I take people at their word so I know I fuck up like this a lot which is upsetting in itself and the only way I can not do that is if I am told what I am doing and I reconsider how I behave)

I don't think I was on the the other thread so have no idea what went on there (sorry anyone know what was the other thread OMC came from - now I need to go and check if I had already pissed him off on there and I wasn't aware before this thread?)

I appreciate he thought he was doing me a favour by revealing himself as a freemason and inviting questions (because it's so hard to know who is one I suppose he thought opportunities to ask them questions are so rare, I dunno,I just took him at his word that he wanted to be asked questions because either he wanted to help or well, he just enjoyed demonstrating the freemasons aren't stuck up or exclusive or trying to hide and they're open? What happened?) and engaging in conversation about it, but seriously? I suppose I'm kind of shocked - it's been a long time since I've fucked up like this socially - I guess thought I was old enough to have learnt how to judge situations like this sad. Apparently not.

Please someone tell me what the other thread was that he came from? Am going to look now.

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 21:48:54

HellATwork, honestly, seriously, just leave it.

CSIJanner Mon 08-Oct-12 21:48:59

OH is DH actually. Am just used to OH when typing.

He sent me the following link with his regards to all! He was quite willing to share grin

www.bilderberg.org/First_Degree.htm

Charity work can also be found online - main charity pot can be found as following:

www.grandcharity.org/

There are more central charities which can also be found online. As I said before, not secret, just googled. Just like Darth Vadar.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 22:01:51

omc has been answering questions since sat when the thread started. he answered politly and repeatedly sometimes the same questions several times despite people twisting what he said to fill a biased agenda.

hellatwork are you sat infront of the computer wearing a collunder on your head and have you lined your walls in eggboxes? if not it may help keep out the mind warp waves.

Redbindy Mon 08-Oct-12 22:10:31

Our local paper regularly carries photos of freemasons from various local lodges presenting cheques to the hospice and such like. They're not that secret.

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 22:13:55

Sockpuppetrypixie, That in itself is a rude post.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 22:20:15

Thanks CSI for those links and please pass on my thanks too to your husband. I've read the first so far, but it seems to relate to a bizarre initiation ceremony, rather than what hoops someone must jump through post-initiation, to convince masons that you're one of them. That link does allude to secrets though, just not what they are or why it's necessary for the society to have them. If I've missed something vital, let me know if you don't mind?

Hellatwork you weren't rude at all - at any point. You were however, like me subjected to shocking rudeness by One More Chap. I hope you or others don't report that personal attack on you. Often better to let a post like that stand so that people with rather better judgement than his lone defender, can see it and remember who wrote it wink

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 22:23:25

Yes, please let all masonic rudenesses stand, so others can see.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 22:26:06

that may as well be, sometimes in life when people are repeatedly very rude to people they very well may get people being rude back.

the difference is i wont try and pretend that i wasnt being rude.

and besides given that a huge amount of posts come across as weird conspricy theory rambelings,or at least thats how i have percived them it is my honestly held belif that chances are the poster is wearing a collunder on her head.

badinage Mon 08-Oct-12 22:37:06

I'd like to leave it to other posters to decide which is more likely.

That a society with secrets might have members who use their affiliation to further their corrupt aims

OR

an articulate woman is sitting at her computer right now with a 'collunder' (sic.) on her head, with eggboxes for wallpaper, in the belief that these things will protect her from Dark Forces.....

LineRunner Mon 08-Oct-12 22:39:10

grin

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 22:47:38

Are all the references to colanders and egg boxes to imply I'm mentally ill so people can laugh at me and therefore ignore what I say? Not sure what to say to that really. I don't believe in any conspiracy theories for the record. Nor have I ever had a mental illness. Nor do I find it morally satisfying to laugh at anyone with mental health issues or denigrate them by implying anyone who doesn't agree with me is mentally ill. But, granted, I can't stop you doing and saying those things so as long as no one else is offended then I shan't be although it's not something I would ever want to say myself (would never think of reporting any posts - have only ever reported posts to have my own over-sharing posts to be deleted from memory). If you can quote where I was repeatedly rude Sock as I think you're saying I was I would be grateful thanks. It would be helpful but quite understand if you are no longer feeling helpful.

My ggf and gf who were masons were lovely people (well my ggf only by what I have been told because he died before I was born) and we still have all the stuff in my gf's mini-briefcase and even the mini-briefcase somewhere which he used to let me mum use for her toys (not outside the house was the rule! not when your friends are round either! She remembers getting really told off for that).

Thanks for the links Mr & Mrs CSIJenner. Just having a browse.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:13

Redbindy - that was what I was thinking. I was sure our local paper had had something in not so long ago and was trying to find it online with a cheque presentation but I can't remember which charity or which lodge so haven't had much luck.

That grand charity website of the freemasons is interesting. Looks to be both promoting how charitable they are and who they give to. Why aren't the scouts and Barnardo's under the masonic charities section though instead of Youth Opportunities? Are all the non-masonic charities ones originally started by masons or do they pick charities with no masonic connections whatsoever? (I don't know who started the other charities that are classed as non-masonic and they may not be publicly known as freemasons anyway so there's no way of knwoing if they ever do I suppose) And why are only freemasons or relatives of freemasons eligible to apply for individual charity?

Masonic criteria for eligibility for individual charitable grants:

"Any Freemason, past or present (under the United Grand Lodge of England) who is experiencing hardship may apply. The widows and certain other immediate dependants of the above may also apply."

claig Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:31

'I don't believe in any conspiracy theories'

Don't you believe in a Hillsborough conspiracy and a LIBOR fixing conspiracy? There are hundreds of conspiracies despite the attempts of people who say they don't exist and who want to cover them up so that they can continue without anybody asking questions. Far from having a 'collunder' on their heads, anyone who doesn't believe in conspiracies is a dunderhead.

theroseofwait Mon 08-Oct-12 23:00:47

I've missed a big chunk of this as I've been to work and then WI (God forbid we're both in cahoots with Satan) but I think one way of proving freemasonry was to bear a breast as it would be obvious if a women was trying to infiltrate!

Hardly severing horse's heads and sacrificing virgins is it?!

claig Mon 08-Oct-12 23:03:19

Never mind all the apologists' jokes and insults about tin foil hats, worry more about those apologists trying to foil attempts to tin tack the perpetrators. The conspiracy of silence about Savile etc.

GockandJuice Mon 08-Oct-12 23:03:54

I don't understand it :S

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 23:07:33

amillionyears
You were MASTER of a lodge.

Yep, having been through other offices.

Did you not have to answer to anyone above you?

No, I followed the rules of Freemasonry, and out own bylaws, but a master rules the Lodge.

Or are you saying you had complete control of your lodge,and didnt have to report to someone higher up.

I thought I said that? my secretary provided returns to Provincial Lodge and thence to Grand Lodge, but what do you mean by report? Membership returns, for sure.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 23:08:58

I believe that enough people with an aligned aim will look like a conspiracy from the outside.

The Libor fixing wasn't a conspiracy, it was a bunch of greedy fuckers with the same aim - personal enrichment. I don't believe anyone said at the outset, between banks, hey let's fix the Libor rate. Individals at banks reported under because it personally benefitted them to do so and there were very little checks to prevent that from happening.

Now Hillsborough I make you right actually. The point at which it was reported PCs were rounded up in a room and told to amend their statements it became a conspiracy. Before that point I thought it was wilful negligence on the part of those in charge and individuals covering their own backs so I didn't believe in a conspiracy theory but I would be stupid to not believe a conspiracy when peopel are giving evidence of having conspired. It's no longer a theory at that point.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 23:12:21

Can you be a Mason if you have criminal convictions?

amillionyears Mon 08-Oct-12 23:12:25

I've no idea what I'm talking about!

I just know that in life bosses,have bosses,have bosses.
So was a bit surprised that you didnt appear to have to answer to anyone else higher up.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 23:13:55

badinage
Yes Linerunner. Give people enough rope and they will hang themselves.

In what way would you suggest that?
You said anyone who believed my honest explanation - was a fool.
You have some other theory.

You said you didn't believe me.
You don't value my answers - I still fail to see why I ought to value yours.

I'd add that I also answered Linerunner 's questions, too.

claig Mon 08-Oct-12 23:15:18

'Individals at banks reported under because it personally benefitted them to do so and there were very little checks to prevent that from happening.'

It was known about in city circles and was not stopped. It was not just 'Big Boy' and his associates who decided to do it off their own backs.

A theory is something that has not yet been proved. Many conspiracies can't be proved, because they involve powerful establishment figures who can prevent and thwart investigations.

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 23:16:23

amillionyears
I just know that in life bosses,have bosses,have bosses.

Mmm. Does the chairman of a club have a boss? Or is he elected by the members. It's that sort of thing.

I had a term of office. At the end of my period I move on and am replaced by someone else. Who then directs us - I was asked to do some bit of ceremony as the last Master, and then I focused on the ritual bits I enjoyed.

claig Mon 08-Oct-12 23:20:05

How does freemasonry square with an open society with freedom of information?

Isn't the master of a lodge lower in the hierarchy than the master of the Grand Lodge. Is there no communication from the top of the hierarchy down?

OneMoreChap Mon 08-Oct-12 23:22:06

claig
How does freemasonry square with an open society with freedom of information?

Don't know. I'd guess it's not a public body, so isn't covered.

Isn't the master of a lodge lower in the hierarchy than the master of the Grand Lodge.

Loads - and I suspect you mean the Grand Master.

Is there no communication from the top of the hierarchy down?

Loads of communication, but as a Chartered Lodge you are able to run yourself within the rules.

Qwertyytrewq Mon 08-Oct-12 23:22:36

I thought the New World Order ran everything or are the Masons part of them?

claig Mon 08-Oct-12 23:25:15

The masons have been around long before the New World Odor.

HellATwork Mon 08-Oct-12 23:26:51

Apologies for offending you OMC with my questions. I thought we were having a good debate and your offer was made in that spirit. I enjoy a good debate (as I thought AIBU encouraged) and will often play devil's advocate without having formed a concrete view in order to form my own opinion and understand why I have come to that opinion. Freemasonry is obviously something you are passionate about and will defend vigorously understandably. I'm sorry I misunderstood and perhaps treated it as more light-hearted a debate than it was <realises you can't reply because you've technically sent me to coventry by stating you won't engage with me any longer but less creepy for me to apologise on thread then PM you an apology which I was considering as you no longer wish to engage with me IYKWIM. Sorry once again>

HellATwork Tue 09-Oct-12 00:44:56

Ha Claig - that Big Boy reference reminded me that one of my ex-colleagues thought he knew who that was when the story was breaking until we discovered there's a lot of traders who go by the name Big Boy! Apparently a lot of the analysts etc call their traders Big Boy as you might say OK Boss.

yes I agree all the banks were doing it because of the collapse of the wholesale credit market so by underreporting their rates to ensure cheaper access to interbank credit for their own bank, the gross effect was LIBOR fixing because other banks were doing the same thing for their own gain. However, I wasn't aware there is talk that the banks agreed and set this up in order to reduce LIBOR (for a start it shafted other areas of banks - LLoyds has a big mortgage division as does Natwest/RBS and Barclays) - but individual actions in order to keep hold of bonuses in what was proving to be a very difficult market to navigate, I don't think that is a conspiracy, although there must have been 'conspiracies' within banks between the people who would have noticed the reporting was wrong.

How many people does it take to make a conspiracy? Only two really innit so if I believe that there was covering up within the banks I suppose I must believe in at least one conspiracy per LIBOR-fixing bank! Is someone who suspects wrongdoing guilty of conspiring if they don't report? I guess if they have a duty to report then yes, I'd have to agree with you, even if they have no involvement with the actions so you might be right about BoE and FSA as well if it's been evidenced that they knew it was going on and did nothing. I'm afraid I haven't kept up to date but on what I first read when it broke I didn't think ooh conspiracy, I thought yet more greedy fuckers fiddling the financial markets for their own personal gain and fuck what happens to the rest of us as a result!

The ritualist aspect seems to be what freaks a lot of poeple out but that doesn't really bother me. I get that people take comfort from ritual (it apparently appeals to a particular 'religious' part of the brain that also lights up when thinking OCD thoughts so rituals are fundamentally comforting for all humans) and all religions have rituals, but all those religions have a common aim, purpose and belief focusing on worshipping the same god they as a community have always worshipped which is where I thought some of the value to the individual came from - that their God wants them to wash their hands three times, do a jig and fall over, share a cup and a very unappetising wafer, the nature of the ritual is irrelevant, and in doing so it makes them happy because they are obeying their God.

But I'm still not clear as to whether the freemasons have that since if there is no requirement to believe in the same supreme being, or even a deity at all and everyone doing the rituals are doing the same ritual but to different gods or not even gods and none of these gods have ever commanded that they go forth and be a freemason or asked for special freemason rituals to be performed in their honour - is the level of comfort taken diminished for an individual? Why would people like performing rituals which don't mean anything personally to them apart from the fact that it gives them a sense of belonging and acceptance. Maybe it is that simple - a hobby for people who really dig rituals, lack a sense of power or belonging otherwise in their life and FM gives them heirarchy and acceptance and fun fancy rituals. So people join because they are theatrical and flamboyant, but can't abide Am-Dram, and missed out on being a priest or their religion just doesn't do things quite as a fun and fancy and they take comfort from the rituals. I thought the Pope through the ages had been quite clear he was not a fan of the freemasons but there seem to be plenty of RC freemasons so maybe I've got that wrong.

Are they modest and quiet about their charitable donations and work and don't want to shout about it? Or do they build websites dedicated to demonstrating how much charitable work they do or have their photos taken for the local paper handing over cheques to charities? Is the value of their charitable work diminished by the majority going to causes established by masons or run by masons or to individuals who are only eligible because they meet the masonic criteria or is it only right that they should mostly look after their own as a lot of religious charities do?

Maybe it's just all three: a social club, political/lobbying organisation and a form of religion. Scientology operates on the same kind of lines but it's a lot more expensive and you can only buy your way to the top so FM is definitely more egalitarian in that sense. I'd be interested to know if Grand Masters have ever included working class chaps without a title and not having risen in rank through the armed forces or had any previous connections with the Masons apart form their own service because that would suggest a level of meritocracy I am not giving them credit for.

If anyone can join then it's not a race (although terrible terrible problems in the US with racially segregated lodges - some US lodges won't even recognise the original Prince Hall lodge which was the first lodge established by an African American and is recognised by UGLE which is sad). The only thing I now know from this thread is that any professional networking is strictly frowned upon but I don't know what the consequences would be for a freemason from his lodge if s/he were found to be doing that.

One thing that strikes me from this thread is what differentiates scientology from freemasonry? How would people feel if a large number of scientologists were rumoured to be working in the criminal justice system and a number of crimes where victims alleged the involvement of scientologists ran aground when investigated by other scientologists and then the reports idenitfying the accused were locked down by the government (who also had a number of scientologists in their ranks).

I guess if non-scientologists weren't allowed to know who was a scientologist nothing could ever be investigated. Would people get pissed about that or accept it as ok? And if, further the scientologists considered it an enfringement of their human rights and civil liberties to be required to declare their allegiance when holding public office and asserted it as such would that be ok too? As a religion I assume we would have to be ok with that because they would have the protection under the ECHR that religions do. If freemasonry is a religion I can see why they would be protected under the ECHR too. But no freemason I have talked to has ever asserted it is a religion and have actually been at great pains to say otherwise. All very confusing and contradictory really. They've also been very keen to point out it has no political affiliations.

HellATwork Tue 09-Oct-12 00:52:53

What are these privileges the FM initiation ritual keeps referring to on that Bilderberg link:

"Tyler - names Candidate; - Mr. __________, a poor Candidate in a state of darkness who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly pro­posed and approved in open Lodge, and now comes, of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry.

Inner Guard - How does he hope to obtain those privileges?

Tyler - prompting Candidate aloud - By the help of God, being free and of good report (Candidate repeats).

Inner Guard. - Halt, while I report to the Worshipful Master - closes and locks door, returns to position in front of his chair, Step, Entered Apprentice Sign. which he holds.

Inner Guard .- Worshipful Master, - names Candidate - Mr. _____________, a poor Candidate in a state of darkness who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, and now comes, of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry.

Worshipful Master - How does he hope to obtain those privileges?

Inner Guard - By the help of God, being free and of good report.

Worshipful Master - The tongue of good report has already been heard in his favour. Do you, Brother Inner Guard, vouch that he is properly prepared?"

HellATwork Tue 09-Oct-12 01:42:00

Confirmation of JS's link to Jersey child care abuse scandal have just been confirmed by the top investigator at the time:
www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/oct/08/jimmy-savile-jersey-childrens-home

When the paedophile scandal broke with Pope Benedict his response to people that he not protect the priests from facing justice:

""From God comes the courage not to be intimidated by petty gossip," said Pope Benedict XVI, as he presented the accusations of the powerless as acts of aggression. In a moment beyond satire, the preacher to the Vatican household, one Father Raniero Cantalamessa, went further and compared criticism of the church's record on child abuse to "the more shameful aspects of anti-semitism". The powerful were now the persecuted. Their victims were the modern equivalent of the Nazis." www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/nick-cohen-jimmy-savile-child-abuse

Really hope the freemasons take the moral lead on this and that they start listening to people who are telling them that there are paedophiles in their ranks who are abusing freemasonry as an unofficial but extremely fruitful paedophile network - and as with the calls for the BBC to conduct a public and transparent inquiry they choose to do the same. It would blow any conspiracy shit out the water if they did.

HellATwork Tue 09-Oct-12 01:43:23

Have to wonder what the "less" shameful aspects of anti-semitism are? None that I can think of, that's for sure.

adeucalione Tue 09-Oct-12 09:35:19

OMC -

Brilliant job answering questions since Saturday with more patience than most would be able to manage.

I have no idea what anyone can say to people who believe that an organisation is secretive and then, when their questions are answered openly and honestly, intimate that the respondent is lying.

WkdSM Tue 09-Oct-12 10:15:14

Sorry for missing out on some of the questions last night - had RL things to do (brushing dog, catching up on Strictly....)

The whole business networking isue has perhaps been misunderstood. If you were asked why you wanted to join a lodge, and said it was purely for business networking, then you would be told that is is not a business networking club - there are plenty of those. It takes a lot of time and collective effort for a Lodge to take in a new member and therefore they would probably be wary of taking that time and effort and then have someone say a year later - oh, I'm not getting what I wanted out of this and leave. Especially as some lodges have a two or three year waiting list to join. Masonry is about what you put in, not about what you get out of it. A bit like learning golf and joining a club just to get in with a certain business crew would probably lead you to find golf boring / pointless.

The story of the CV and my DH was to illustrate that busines networking happens to a certain extent in any social club - and that IME lodge members help each other to the same extent WI members, or a good neighbour, would - they are happy to help but not happy to exert any undue influence or show favouratism. I thought it was a bit pushy of the chap but that was just my opinion. The point is - it happens in almost any social situation.

Many Lodge members are older and retired.

Meeting in the men's lodges - yes this is a great step forward - as I said earlier, things will change - I have alluded to the Church of England and their gradual acceptance that women have a place in the hierarchy of the church. It is slow but is is happening. Remember this is an institution where there is no retirement age (our secretary had her 90th birthday a couple of years ago) and therefore there are some older very strict traditionalists who still consider women can't be freemasons. The younger men are doing a good job of balancing acceptance without upsetting some of the older members who have put an immense amount of time and effort into keeping masonry alive. I don't necessarily agree with their beliefs - but I understand things change slowly from within.

The priviledges of freemasonry are (IME) that of the companionship of those in the same Lodge, and their support if something happens, the ability to attend meetings and practices and learn the rituals - and to work hard at making the rituals a lovely experience as possible for those joining. We are taught that the greater your talents the more responsibility you have to use those talents to help others - this could be helping make cakes for tea if you are good at baking, or mentoring new members if you are good at ritual.

Websites and charities - damned if we do, damned if we don't. There are complaints that masons are not open about what they do, or that the money goes only to internal charities. Well, they set up a website to be more open about what happens and are told they are boasting. What do you want them to do - keep it a secret or make the information readily available? Same with being in newspapers etc - you want more openness - masons are saying - look this is part of what we do - we raise money and we give it away. It also encourages local charities to approach the lodges and request funds - some of them didn't know that we give to non-masonic charities.

Masons tend to raise money internally - they might volunteer to shake cans on behalf of an non-masonic charity but I have never seen or been asked to go out on the streets and raise money from strangers for a masonic charity. You might be asked if you want to attend a Ladies Evening, or other fundraiser and there will be raffle tickets - but that is about the extent of it. At any fundraiser now you have to specify which charity the money is going to.

paedophilia - masons are subject to CRP checks when they are coming into contact with children just the same as any other volunteer. As we well know, these don't stop paedophiles. Maybe there have been masons who are paedophiles - but I don't think this is a defining charactaristic and certainly all the masons I know would be horrified to discover someone they know was acting against children - and would report it to the police immediately. As each Lodge tends to be self governing and it is a voluntary organisation, perhaps you could help specify exactly what sort of checks and investigation you would wish us to run?

As far as I know if you have a criminal conviction you are not accepted to join a lodge.

In Scientology AFAIK you have to pay to buy lots of books to learn from - I was given my ritual book by the Lodge when I joined. I have bought other books which look at the history etc but these have come from ordinary bookshops (and Amazon! Even on Kindle for free.).

Cost - A lot of regalia is passed on from one person to another - part of mine comes from a very close friends grandfather as her son does not want to join but she wanted her grandfather's regalia to continue to be used. You have to pay Lodge fees for each Lodge you join (these go towards secretaries expenses, upkeep of the building, flowers / cards for members who are ill, that sort of thing) and mine are well under £100 for the year. If you are having difficulty with the fees you can approach the Lodge and they will consider waiving the fees. Very often older members on limited incomes are told their fees will be waived for the remainder of their life.

Have I missed anything? probably.

Maybe we have to accept that people find value in different things - freemasonry has changed over the years and continues to change. But sometimes I really get the feeling that whatever we say and whatever we do (individually and collectvely) there will always be people who would far rather believe that we are a group of Satan worshipping, country and law manipulating, naive idiots who like dressing up but have an ability to control the world.

I accept that some of you may be playing devil's advocate - I would suggest that before you make up your mind you see if a local lodge has an open day, or visit one of the stalls they might have at a local county show / village fair. It might not be for you - but at least you would know more. Or look on the websites and call the headquarters and ask to have a chat to somone.

Qwertyytrewq Tue 09-Oct-12 10:21:07

Are the Freemasons as secretive as a website that has political clout, canvasses its members for opinions and where posters do not use their real names?

On MN only a few people are known, the rest are anonymous and could be anyone.

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 10:22:52

But we don't decide each other's planning applications.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:25:26

LineRunner
But we don't decide each other's planning applications.

How would we know that?
There might be a special forum that only some of you use...

adeucalione Tue 09-Oct-12 10:28:08

LineRunner - you would say that wouldn't you, maybe you're just not high up enough in the pecking order?

claig Tue 09-Oct-12 10:32:55

How did Kenneth Noye become a mason? Are masons chucked out if they get criminal records?

www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-5068061.html

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 10:36:15

More charming adverts for Freemasonry, I see.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:37:33

claig
How did Kenneth Noye become a mason?

I don't know the man, nor his Lodge. The report says:
"He was proposed and seconded by two police officers ..."

Any prospective member is interviewed, proposed, and balloted for in an anonymous ballot. If they fail the ballot, that's it. They aren't in.

Are masons chucked out if they get criminal records?

In my experience, yes. Not often, but then I haven't met any criminal masons - nor many criminals, come to that. I have seen disciplinary cases come through where people have been expelled.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:39:24

LineRunner
More charming adverts for Freemasonry, I see.

Poke people long enough with a stick, and expect a reaction.
How do I know there isn't a special forum...?

[I've seen reference to "The Other Place" in various Relationships thread... how do I know that isn't for nefarious purpose?]

SaurenLaurensonsMum Tue 09-Oct-12 10:44:03

hmm - A lodge in our area not only accepted a convicted drug dealer, he became a master. I knew others in the lodge and warned them, eventually admitting that he was beating me to a pulp.
They helped me remove my furniture but that was it. Police photos of my injuries went missing.
He died from a drug overdose.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:48:26

SaurenLaurensonsMum
hmm - A lodge in our area not only accepted a convicted drug dealer, he became a master.

Shocking. If I'd known a drug dealer was being proposed, he'd have been blackballed.

I knew others in the lodge and warned them, eventually admitting that he was beating me to a pulp.

Before or after?
DV would be a blackball too, in my view.

They helped me remove my furniture but that was it.

Not enough.

Police photos of my injuries went missing.
Connected, you think?
Was it like the apparent Noye case, was it a "police" lodge?

He died from a drug overdose.

Not sadly missed by the sound of it.

claig Tue 09-Oct-12 10:49:39

'Are masons chucked out if they get criminal records?
In my experience, yes.'

Is there a rule book, are there rules that members have to abide by?

SaurenLaurensonsMum Tue 09-Oct-12 10:55:15

Thanks. I don't know if it was a 'police' lodge but there were policemen who were members as well as a mixed array of professions.
I told members of a neighboring lodge during this persons term as master.

I still live in fear despite his death several years ago. Nobody believed me but they spoke openly about his being a bad one after his death. So they did know but did nothing about it.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:57:48

claig
Is there a rule book, are there rules that members have to abide by?

Constitution, Rules, and bye-laws.
You're issued with them on initiation.

They are for members.

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 11:31:13

We could know each other in Real Life, OneMoreChap.

Shall we start over? I've quite warmed to you. smile

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 11:33:54

LineRunner

Sssh, don't tell them. We'll discuss it in the usual place wine

grin

I may well be an ares, but I do try and be consistent smile

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 11:41:47

I think you're incredibly resilient, OneMoreChap. wine Probably a good bloke on a desert island, that kind of thing.

HellATwork Tue 09-Oct-12 16:02:56

Thank you for your posts and patience WkdSM - read this morning and have been reading some more online (the cases the UGLE relied on to challenge Jack Straw).

I agree with your points re FM charity being a lose-lose. I think in the light of JS's exploits, sadly, all publicly charitable acts which are put to the media are going to be viewed quite cynically.

I guess the freemasons would react like the catholic church in the event they were ever presented with enough evidence that freemasonry was being used as a tool of pedophiles - and because they are a quasi-religion with no public duties they would get away with it as in this case:

What do you think would have happened back at the lodge to Raymond Ketland if he had ratted on his masonic co-abusers?
icnorthwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/regionalnews/tm_headline=evil-sex-beast-may-never-be-let-out-on-the-streets-again%26method=full%26objectid=16915241%26page=4%26siteid=50142-name_page.html#story_continue

Former Birmingham police officer Raymond Ketland, 66, of Nant y Coed, Glan Conwy, became involved with the girl after noticing sexual activity on Llanddulas beach.

He admitted two charges of sexual activity with a minor, taking indecent photographs of a child and facilitating a child sex offence, and was jailed for two and a half years.

Ketland had become involved partly through a fellow Mason.

Andrew Thomas, prosecuting, said: "He recognised one of them as a fellow member of his Masonic Lodge, who walked up to him and asked 'Do you want to have a bit of fun?' He pointed out a girl who was with them."

Mr Thomas later confirmed Ket-land had refused to divulge the identity of his fellow Mason to investigating officers.

Catholic Bishop Gerard Crane, called as a character witness by Ketland's defence, said his friend was "totally distraught" at what had happened.

He said: "He is distraught about the shame and suffering he has brought upon his wife and daughter.

"He is utterly concerned about the welfare of the young lady and we have prayed together for her future well-being and for forgiveness."

Gary McIlroy, 50, of Weatherby Way, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, became involved with the group while travelling North Wales as a pub and club entertainer.

He was jailed for 21 months after admitting sexual activity with the girl when she was 14.

nogreythatmatters Tue 09-Oct-12 17:26:04

Common Purpose - In challenging times, why should organisations paid for by Tax Payers like the police, Health Authorities, local authorities and the BBC pay millions to a charity to run training courses which are essentially networking opportunities for staff?

All its meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule = its secretive, nothing said is attributable and costs as much as £7,500 per course.

Free Masons may be wacko, but we're not paying massive sums of money for them to go on Scientology type training courses.

WkdSM Tue 09-Oct-12 17:35:51

I can categorically state that if that ever happened with anyone I have ever come into contact with through Lodge they would not stand for it. They would tell him to point out his co-abuser to the police and then (I would hope and expect) expel him from the Lodge. They would do all that they could to help bring this person to justice - but how as a voluntary organisation do you force somebody to confess? The promises we make (as has been mentioned before) to help each other are over ridden by the promise to uphold the laws of the country.

I think one difference is that unlike the Catholic Church individual members are not reliant on Freemasonry for their employment, housing, income, retierment plan - their whole life. So if as a priest you report another priest, then maybe you jeapordise your career (and the takings from the collections) and put the Church in danger of being sued (as in Boston particularly). Not so with Freemasons. Why would you think that we would cover anything up anymore than the local Round Table or Lions Club would?

I am not sure that becoming a freemason would be the most obvious route for a paedophile to gain access to children. Children do not attend meetings, and the socials are usually adult targeted (dinner dances etc) or children attend with family members - such as at an annual barbecue. There is no youth division (as with rotary or Lions).

Most of the time the fundraising is done at meetings, and then a donation is made to an agreed charity.

My Dh does belong to one Lodge where twice a year they take disabled children fishing for the day - but their families are always invited and all Lodge members have to be police checked. But that is the only one that is 'hands on' as such - terrible phrase but I'm sure you know what I mean.

We have both interacted far more with children through other charity groups we belong to.

I can't see that JS had any direct contact with children through his masonic connections - (whatever they were) - it seems to be through work / his own charities. But I could be proved wrong.

I still think to ban us as a group would be as ridiculous as banning the scouts because some scout masters have colluded in abusing children.

WkdSM Tue 09-Oct-12 17:39:02

Nogrey
Yes - we may be wacko (or as I would term it determined individuals with a strict sense of morals for the most part) - but I don't think we cost the taxpayer any money.

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 18:51:08

I don't think the allegation is that paedophile freemasons have used the organisation's charitable works in order to access children, it's that criminal activities in general have been overlooked (and in many cases facilitated) by other freemasons in positions of power, either because those individuals are lower down the pecking order in the lodge hierarchy Kenneth Noye was the master of his lodge, because of the requirement to help one of the brotherhood, or because of fellow freemasons' own criminal activity.

I think it's stretching credibility to think that an organisation that people have to pay to join and is attractive to men in positions of power (as well as those who are unlikely to achieve power at work and seek an ego replacement through the lodge hierarchy) is not vulnerable to those who use it for their own advancement and in order to conceal their activities. Or that its only appeal is to the altruistic who want to conduct good works for the benefit of wider society.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 18:55:28

Charbon in most Lodges, everyone will be master eventually. There's usually a dozen or so Past Masters about. It's really not that sort of organisation.

I'm unsure why anyone would think it's attractive to men in positions of power; the unemployed, streetcleaners, council workers and teachers I've kknown aren't exactly men of power - but they have been Master.

garlicbutty Tue 09-Oct-12 19:23:33

I think your last paragraph above, Charbon ("stretching credibility") is total and utter common sense. Protests to the contrary just make the institution look shifty. Comparisons with the RC's frothy denials of its systematic abuses from the Magdalen Laundries to priestly paedophilia are extremely tempting.

OMC, Charbon covered your street-cleaner very adequately with "those who are unlikely to achieve power at work and seek an ego replacement through the lodge hierarchy".

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 19:33:40

"an organisation that people have to pay to join and is attractive to men in positions of power"

Most organisations have some amount of annual fee so that expenses can be paid. This is no different.

Freemasonry is an intellectual pursuit, as well as a journey where an individual seeks to better himself. It doesn't really attract people in positions of power, except those who wish to nurture their intellect and develop as a person.

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:46:27

OneMoreChap the experiences and perspectives you are writing about on this thread are I have to say, wholly unlike those of other freemasons I've encountered, past and present. I'm not saying that you are being disingenuous, but that your own individual experiences cannot speak for every freemason's at every lodge. Posters who are saying that their own experiences of freemasonry have been malevolent, are as valid as those who say theirs have been benign. I have certainly had the misfortune to work in organisations where freemasonry has been a corrupting influence and have worked with colleagues who have admitted that the hierarchy in their lodge has got in the way of them making impartial decisions.

As garlicbutty says, I acknowledged the attraction of Freemasonry for those who are unlikely to achieve power in other areas of their lives. Those individuals are by definition, less vulnerable to corruption because of their lack of power and influence.

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:47:46

It doesn't really attract people in positions of power

Now that is disingenuous.

claig Tue 09-Oct-12 19:48:36

'It doesn't really attract people in positions of power, except those who wish to nurture their intellect and develop as a person.'

Was that Kenneth Noye's motivation?

Qwertyytrewq Tue 09-Oct-12 19:56:35

OMC

Posters won't be happy until you admit that the Masons are a shady cabal, with members in power who use their influence to help fellow Masons in their nefarious activities.

If you could throw in a bit of devil worship and a belief that lizards rule the world it would be appreciated.

I've mixed with men ranging from heads of banks, teachers, policemen, builders the whole range, in old-boys clubs, sports clubs, everywhere and I've never heard a single mention of Masons.

Where are you meeting them all?

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 20:15:37

All I ever wanted <wrings hands> all I ever wanted was for someone to say it would be a good idea for mason to acknowledge mason at council meetings where other people who knew each other would do the same.

<needs to get out more>

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 20:17:14

LineRunner grin

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 20:24:21

Since many here don't know much about Freemasonry and snigger at the replies of those who do know, there isn't much more to do for you to learn about it than to...

Read A Book.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 20:27:47

Charbon might I politely enquire how many Freemasons you think you have met?

You said wholly unlike those of other freemasons I've encountered, past and present. I'm not saying that you are being disingenuous, but that your own individual experiences cannot speak for every freemason's at every lodge.

I'd hazard a guess that it's fairly likely I have met a very great many more Freemasons than you have, in a number of countries, Masonic Constitutions and a very great many Lodges. I accept that I cannot speak for every Freemason, at every Lodge.

Might you accept it is just possible that I may be able to speak for more than you can?

It doesn't really attract people in positions of power

Now that is disingenuous.

You're getting fairly close to personally insulting.
What would you describe as someone in a position of power?

Having established that, consider how they would like to be under the command of said street cleaner/teacher - because they are. Within a Lodge, you have the power of the position you are granted by the Master. It is likely to take you years in a popular Lodge to attain the Chair. Certainly 10, quite likely 15+... does that sound quite so attractive?

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:14

I do understand the misconception that Freemasonry attracts people in positions of power, though.

The only time anyone's Freemasonry is talked about is when they are in a position of power. (Nobody is interested in finding out if a 25-year-old store clerk is a Freemason). By that time, this powerful person has probably been a Freemason for at least a decade, possibly two, meaning that the "attraction" happened a long time before the "position of power".

Qwertyytrewq Tue 09-Oct-12 20:43:08

Linerunner.

Why shouldn't everyone who had connections with someone else on the Council be open about it?

So if two people went to school together or play golf together or are members of a website and communicate together on it, shouldn't they be open about it?

A bit like when you're on a jury, and you know someone in the court.
Conflict of interests and all that.

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 20:51:31

Yes, exactly.

garlicbutty Tue 09-Oct-12 21:40:34

Yes, Qwerty. Absolutely.

This has been covered several times through the thread, and our freemasons have said their situation is different. Or not different. Or have simply ignored it.

The CRUCIAL point is that, when several participants in a decision play golf together or are related by family or go to each others' barbecues, play in the same orchestra, whatever: these facts are already known or, if not, are easy to check. Not so with a club that prides itself on its secrecy.

garlicbutty Tue 09-Oct-12 21:41:12

Sorry, not secrecy - secrets. And privacy. (cba to have this argument all over again)

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 21:45:26

It seems I cannot say this enough times.

At Planning and Licensing Meetings I have been to, people DO say (for noting) that they know an applicant or know someone on the Committee or someone giving advice or giving a deputation. This might be through friendship or family or work or clubs.

The masons don't.

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 21:45:56

How many freemasons I've met compared to how many someone else has met is completely besides the point. This isn't just about me either. There have been numerous posts on this thread, some commenting on negative experiences and others with positive impressions. All of those points of view are as valid as eachother. Personal experience as a freemason (or as the partner of one) is of course powerful as a personal testimony, but that needs to be counterbalanced by acknowledging the very human tendency to defend an organisation you have an investment in and derive benefit from in some way, like I said in my first post on that thread.

Although one of the difficulties of freemasonry is with the secret membership list, I have personally met High Court Judges, Council leaders and Councillors, Chief Executives of both private and public sector organisations, senior police officers, Queens Counsel, solicitors, Chairs of School Governing Bodies with responsibility for admissions (foundation schools) and Editors of Newspapers who were open about being freemasons. All men in positions of power. Several of those individuals have cheerfully agreed that when in junior positions in their organisations, they were attracted by the promise of getting ahead in their careers and in the days when an invitation or sponsor was necessary, had been reassured by that sponsor that it was a good career move.

As for your last question OneMoreChap my one and only personal experience (in that it affected me) of how someone who was subordinate in the lodge hierarchy to someone less powerful at work, was when two such individuals both reported to me at work. One was a middle manager who reported to me, with a junior manager reporting to him. A disciplinary issue arose that I expected the middle manager to deal with, but completely aberrant to his usual performance in this area, he was resisting tackling it. Eventually it came out that he had concerns because the junior manager was a) a fellow freemason at the same lodge and b) was more senior at that lodge. A wholly unacceptable conflict of interests. I have however spoken to other freemasons (some now retired) who have admitted that there were occasions when they turned a blind eye to a potential conflict or wrongdoing, because of the hierarchical politics at their lodges.

I accept as valid other people's experiences if they have never come across such conflicts of interest. Indeed some of the senior people I've referenced, as far as I know didn't do anything more unethical than use freemasonry for career advancement.

I understand why some of you are defending freemasonry and apart from what is genuine belief, your motivation for doing so. But I'd personally find your views much more credible if there wasn't an insistence that you know everything there is to know, that masonic lodges aren't attractive to men in power or seeking it, or that your organisation isn't vulnerable to corruption.

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 21:50:01

"At Planning and Licensing Meetings I have been to, people DO say (for noting) that they know an applicant... The masons don't."

How do you know that some of those people who say they know an applicant aren't Freemasons and know that person from the lodge they frequent?

Qwertyytrewq Tue 09-Oct-12 21:50:15

There only known if you know them.

This thread has gone round and round, because people tend not to change their opinions.

I'm going to give mine which is as worthless and pointless as everyone elses on an anonymous Internet forum.

250,000 Masons in the UK,and like the rest of society, I reckon mostly harmless.

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 21:53:33

"All of those points of view are as valid as eachother"

How very democratic of you. Basically, in your world, the worth of actual knowledge is no more than that of hearsay, prejudice, and in some cases, downright paranoia.

When seeking information in physics, do you listen to a physicist instead of a layman? Or are everyone's "points of view" as valid as each other there, as well?

rubberglove Tue 09-Oct-12 21:53:53

I admire the posters taking the time to debate this politely.

The freemasons are a secret society. I completely disagree with their existence, regardless of any charity work they do. I cannot fathom why they have to be secretive other than to promote exclusivity.

Secrets, on the whole, breed dysfunction and corruption. A load of old shite, I am afraid I am not so polite.

It puts me in the mind of a dysfunctional family. Stay in the fold, don't speak about the family to others. We will look after you as long as you accept our rituals.

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 21:54:20

Because they say things like, 'I'd like to declare for noting that Mrs Goggins is my boss's sister.'

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 21:57:02

" organisation isn't vulnerable to corruption."

You don't mean "organisation", which can't be corrupted. You mean people, and everyone is vulnerable to corruption in various degrees.

One can only hope that people who repeat, debate, and strive for better morals would be less susceptible to corrupting influences, though.

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 21:58:18

Line - And what if they say "I'd like to declare that Mr Goggins is an acquaintance of mine" or "... is a friend of mine".

How do you know that they don't know each other through Freemasonry?

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 22:02:32

No, what I am saying is that the views of the freemasons that I have spoken to are just as valid as OneMoreChap's because they are all men who are freemasons. OneMoreChap's testimony doesn't negate theirs.

And everyone else's experiences as a partner or family member of a freemason are as valid as eachother's. On this thread not all of them have been positive, but many have.

And everyone else's personal views about their experience of freemasonry are as valid as eachother's.

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 22:03:47

"The freemasons are a secret society."

No. Freemasonry is an esoteric society.

(3rd time I say it on this thread & hoping it will be the last)

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Oct-12 22:05:40

Charbon - This brings us to OMC's question: Just how many Freemasons do you know?

Charbon Tue 09-Oct-12 22:14:49

No, I meant organisation, but organisations of course comprise people. Many organisations make themselves vulnerable to corruption because of their own internal procedures and lack of vigilance. Most modern organisations identify at a strategic level their vulnerable areas of business/operation and the people within that organisation who are most vulnerable to corruption. That risk assessment was clearly not done in relation to for example, Kenneth Noye, Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter, who were all freemasons.

A sensible freemason might agree that any organisation that thrives on secrecy, is comprised of numerous powerful men and has in the past suffered from allegations of improper conduct, needs to undertake a risk assessment and review its procedures.

garlicbutty Tue 09-Oct-12 22:17:11

3rd time I say it on this thread & hoping it will be the last

I hope so, too. The distinction seems more important to you than to anyone else. Pedants' Corner is >>>> that way.

It's safe enough to say that a group which goes on and on about its secret arts and hidden mysteries is secretive ... a more specific term than esoteric, I pedantically believe.

rubberglove Tue 09-Oct-12 22:18:04

Cote, one of the meanings of esoteric is private, secret or confidential, if you want to be pedantic.

It is certainly an exclusive organisation and in my opinion, a bullshit excuse to indulge in the weaker side of the human condition.

rubberglove Tue 09-Oct-12 22:22:03

The weaker side being the desire for exclusivity, power etc. Humans do it in many shapes and forms, which brings a sense of irony to the Freemasons I feel. It really is just the same old bullshit...

Qwertyytrewq Tue 09-Oct-12 22:32:34

I know why the Freemasons aren't popular on MN, too similar to Mouldies?

rubberglove Tue 09-Oct-12 22:36:24

Another example of the same old, we are slaves to it.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 23:44:15

Charbon

Many organisations make themselves vulnerable to corruption...

Kenneth Noye, Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter, who were all freemasons...

I think you're making your position abundantly clear

A sensible freemason...

OK, that's past the line.

You are offensive. I have been polite, you have not.

I think we will not convince each other of anything particularly since you appear to dismiss all that I say to you. You get another - "I shan't waste my time any further engaging with you."

Well done.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 23:49:45

LineRunner
At Planning and Licensing Meetings I have been to, people DO say (for noting) that they know an applicant or know someone on the Committee or someone giving advice or giving a deputation. This might be through friendship or family or work or clubs.

Really? All of them?

The masons don't.
... and you'd know that because...?

rubberglove
I admire the posters taking the time to debate this politely.

Not much by what follows grin

The freemasons are a secret society.

Yes, the web sites, public buildings, tours, and application methods do smack of that, don't they.

I completely disagree with their existence, regardless of any charity work they do.

I'd suggest you don't join then...

I cannot fathom why they have to be secretive other than to promote exclusivity.

I don't understand why people follow Association Football; but then, we're all different.

Secrets, on the whole, breed dysfunction and corruption. A load of old shite, I am afraid I am not so polite.

I notice.
So, you disapprove of all privacy, or only that of others?

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 00:09:35

Well I know who the masons are because obviously they have told me elsewhere that they are masons. And that they do not have to declare it so they won't.

Charbon Wed 10-Oct-12 00:28:09

Thanks OneMoreChap.

I'd find it absolutely heavenly if you stopped engaging with me. Really.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Wed 10-Oct-12 00:35:49

I know quite a fair number of people who have been or are masons. I've been invited to join a female lodge but don't have the time at the moment as I am heavily committed with Rotary (another organisation that lots of people seem to think is a secret society for some bizarre reason). I've been in our local temple (in fact we can see into the bathroom and kitchen from our house). I've been to several masonic events

All I can say is that all the masons I know are very unremarkable people who got into freemasonry as something sociable and charitable, not because they have any sort of power lust going on

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 00:40:10

You can see into the temple bathroom?

shock

grin

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Wed 10-Oct-12 00:40:44

That risk assessment was clearly not done in relation to for example, Kenneth Noye, Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter, who were all freemasons

Surely in the interests of fairness to freemasonry you should point out that the vast majority of predatory paedophiles are not freemasons and that the vast majority of freemasons are not predatory paedophiles

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Wed 10-Oct-12 00:41:33

Yes, garlic - it was only when I went to a quiz night at the temple that I realised that the window that always seemed to have a light in it was the ladies' loo !!!!

Charbon Wed 10-Oct-12 00:58:35

Surely in the interests of fairness to freemasonry you should point out that the vast majority of predatory paedophiles are not freemasons and that the vast majority of freemasons are not predatory paedophiles

I can't do that though can I? The membership list is secret and there are paedophiles who've evaded detection. Just like I can't state with any accuracy how many freemasons I know, because I'm sure I've known more than just those who've been open with me about their membership.

I can only state my belief, which is based both on mathematical probability and my personal knowledge of self-declared freemasons. Which is that the majority of freemasons are not predatory paedophiles and the majority of paedophiles are not freemasons.

I can't know that though. No-one can.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 01:17:28

I was once instrumental in the discovery of a very malicious paedophile ring. It was international and used little boys as young as 3 angry The ring leaders used their ex regiment as both cover and network. The leader I helped to catch was, following a lengthy prosecution which was hampered by high-ranking Scotland Yard officials, given a suspended sentence by the judge who had also served in the same regiment ... I relate this story to illustrate the fact, which should be blazingly obvious to anyone who's had dealings with humans, that loyalty groups can be extremely helpful to criminals. It's both naive and stupid to believe otherwise.

I agree that people in public office should be forced to disclose their relationships. In private office, they should be required to - and often are. Surely public servants should be more discoverable than private business people, not less?

hunton1 Wed 10-Oct-12 01:19:10

Although I'm not a mason, my grandfather was and I've (very unofficially) seen his regalia. They're the epitome of a non-secret secret society, many lodges have websites with their lodge meeting dates for the next few years posted up, and indeed their lodges are proclaimed pretty obviously - the Southampton Lodge is next to the West Quay Shopping Centre and the words "Masonic Lodge" are carved over the doorway. They're fundamentally a bunch of (usually older) men who do a bit of a funny dance in private, have meals and do a lot of philanthropic work. There are plenty of books around, some of which are fairly dry but list the reality of lodge meetings and what goes on behind closed doors, and some of which are full of rather entertaining conspiracy theories. The Masonic Library in the London Grand Lodge is open to the public, which goes to show just how secret they really are.

It's an interesting organisation, they give millions to charity. In 2008 they gave half a million to the Scout Association, as well as substantial sums to Outward Bound, Barnardo's and various Air Ambulance Trusts.

Essentially they are a community who look out for each other. My grandfather for instance would go out of his way to get his photos developed by a Mason Chemist rather than the chemist on the high street. Similarly when he had a life-threatening blood infection, then had he died, there would have been a place at private schools for my mum and uncle funded by a masonic benevolent group, as well as some support for my grandmother. In some ways it's quite similar to the armed forces benevolent societies that help look after war widows and families. Indeed the MoD itself contributes to boarding school fees for children of servicemen (more often long-term commission than the short 4-5 year commission, and especially for kids who are at GCSE/A-level age and need a bit of stability, although the MoD also tries not to move people to new postings 6 months before offspring have major exams and suchlike if the parents choose not to go down the boarding route).

However, that loyalty only extends so far. It's pretty unthinkable that a lodge would cover up a crime committed by a member - in actual fact they'd be more likely to cast out a member who threatened to put a stain on their reputation and may well be the ones to report them to the Police.

It's really not that creepy an organisation unless you believe the hype.

As for the main objection, which seems to be one of corruption amongst politicians or those in public office, the Masons are a positively minor issue compared to the old boys networks that run through institutions such as the London Gentleman's Clubs, the Mason's just get attention and bad rap because they're "secret". Right up until you google them... you can find out more about the Masons on google than you can about Private Member's Clubs in London, the sort of places ministers hang out and rub shoulders in private.

rubberglove Wed 10-Oct-12 08:15:27

Privacy is not the same as secrecy.

WkdSM Wed 10-Oct-12 09:09:33

Publishing lists of members within a voluntary group - um, Data Protection or privacy laws?

Do the WI publish a worldwide list of members, do the Lions / Rotary / Round Table? If there was a law that we had to publish a membership list, then we would be honour bound to do this. But why just freemasons? I saw far more 'influence' being exerted on planning by the old boys network in the village I used to live in. And Round Table was specifically set up to foster business relationships between men - as well as raising money - yet no one seems to be saying they should declare membership at every opportunity.

Given that you can look up just about every ceremony on t'internet, the number of books available to buy (or borrow from your library), that Lodges (local and in London) are open to the public for tours, how secret are we really? One of the 'privileges' of freemasonry is that you can take part in the ritual - but this involves putting time and effort into learning what you should be doing.

Risk assessment - as with any voluntary club / social club - how do you carry out a risk assessment for what people do when they are not at the Club? As I have said the only time my DH has anything to do with kids through freemasonry (fishing with disabled kids) he has to have a CRB check.

Whilst I think we are all willing to agree that there have been freemasons who have not acted within the laws of the country - is this not the same for any group of people?

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.

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.

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 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.

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......

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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 12:54:44

Has Freemasonry?

Or have individuals who were Freemasons?

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.

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 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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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...

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.

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