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So after 14 years together, 12 years married and 3 dcs he lobs this out of left field ...

(236 Posts)
SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:20:28

He'll be back late because he's going to a Freemason's dinner.

God I don't even know which bloody emoticon to put, as I don't know whether to laugh hysterically, cry or blow up.

This is a man who has always been fun, kind, thoughtful, supportive, dare I say it, a feminist. And he cannot seem to understand why this has left me feeling extremely unnerved. (mainly because I'm not sure what it is and why it is)

I mean, what do they DO? I know they do lots of charidee work, but we already give all we can afford, volunteer a lot, involved in church ... I mean, FTLOG why does he need to join what seems to me a misogynist, secretive, frankly rather silly old-boys club?

Aaaaargh!!

SimoneDeBeaver Mon 25-Mar-13 11:47:38

Winky I think you're referring to this

Half the upper classes in the UK were enamoured with the Nazis and some probably profited just as much during the 1930s. So I don't think it has much bearing on the FMs particularly.

WinkyWinkola Mon 25-Mar-13 10:28:28

Which certain American family with recent presidents has links to funding the Nazis?

Mimishimi Sun 24-Mar-13 22:22:46

My mum's family are all heavily involved in Freemasonry, especially my grandfather. He used to take me into the main Lodge in Sydney when I was a little girl. There is some dark stuff but no more so than you get some Christian/Jewish/xyz religious people getting together and doing bad stuff too e.g Vatican etc. Lots of Freemasons suffered a lot during World War Two because of real and suspected links with Judaism and were actively involved in fighting the Nazis - then some freemasons were involved with funding the Nazis (like a certain American family which has had a couple of recent presidents .....) - I like all the symbolic mysticism and my grandfather showing me books which wrote about the links going back to King Solomon's Temple. I never understood them and it was never explained to me as a bad thing in themselves - more that some will use that understanding for good and some for evil. They are a bit obsessed with power though, whether they intend to do good or otherwise.

badinage Sun 24-Mar-13 16:47:46

Re-reading your post Sault, I see that you might be suggesting that photo ID could be misused in non-masonic activities. If so, can you explain how this could be misused in a way that handshakes and the other 'signs and signals' which are recognisable only to fellow freemasons, might not?

badinage Sun 24-Mar-13 15:46:25

Sault in the modern world if the only reason a freemason needed to show the 'signs and signals' was to gain access to an unfamiliar lodge (as their website suggests) Grand Lodge would introduce a freemason's photographic membership card, just like every private members club does in 2013. Warrant cards wouldn't gain access to that club, or any other for that matter - so potential misuse of other photo ID is a non-issue. However as I'm sure you can see, there are potential benefits to having secrets signs and signals, other than entry to lodges or because of a love of tradition and rituals.

Police-only lodges still exist and in fact the lodge of St. James was set up in the mid-eighties. See this re the Sine Favore lodge set up in 2011

The article also deals with some of your other points. There is in fact no requirement for the police or the judiciary to disclose their membership. It is preferred that they do, but there is no discipline offence or breach of contract if they do not.

Flatmum
The handshake - we call it a grip, or token - isn't really secret anymore, any Google search will give you a picture - but it's essentially a normal handshake with distinct pressure from the thumb on the first or second knuckle of the hand to correspond with whether you are in the first or second degree. Masons will almost always use the first degree handshake when we meet at lodge. The third degree has it's own grip which involves clasping the wrist of the other guy; I've never used or seen this used outside the 3rd degree ritual.

Badinage
The rituals are based around the time of King Solomon, hence we use the same methods of recognition they used then. Don't know if I posted this yesterday but that's also the reason the year is different on the lodge certificate (someone asked about why the year was different upthread) and let's be honest, photo ID wasn't big in 4000BC smile Joking apart, a photo ID can be misused - police warrant cards leap to mind - so not sure what benefit would be had. The grips also feature heavily in the rituals - in the days of operative masons their pay was based on their degree, so it was very important to have the right grip when you went to get your wages from the Senior Warden.
As to corruption, police and magistrates I believe are now required to disclose their membership on joining, and the lodges that were at the centre of the issues in the 60s and 70s were disbanded. I would posit that you are far more likely to find more corruption/dodgy deals being done on golf courses than in lodges these days; but I suspect we are going to have to agree to disagree.

flatmum Sun 24-Mar-13 11:10:49

how do they identify each other in public? what are the secret handshakes?

SimoneDeBeaver Sun 24-Mar-13 10:40:27

YY the detriment to family would be a big factor with us. If indeed DH spent time in prayer, labour and then helping others, there's not much time for us.

badinage Sun 24-Mar-13 01:47:28

I appreciate a freemason explaining his position and answering questions politely, but there is still no explanation for it being a men-only organisation that has secrets.

Nor is there a plausible reason for the secrecy aurrounding the 'signs and signals' a freemason needs to give to indicate to another mason that he is in the craft. The ludicrous explanation on their websites really does try to insult people's intelligence. These 'signs' are explained away as 'a means of identification if a freemason visits another lodge', when any logical person would deduce that a photo ID card would get around this problem. As they would also deduce that these secret signs are potentially useful if a freemason wishes to gain an advantage from a fellow freemason with the power to grant it.

I appreciate that you can only speak as you find and as I said in one of my posts upthread, most rational people would accept that not every freemason has a nefarious agenda, but hopefully you can also accept by that same logic that because the organisation is so large, you also can't possibly vouch for every individual freemason's behaviour, nor the prevailing culture in each lodge.

I'd be especially interested in what evidence you have for your faith that the corruption you allude to from the past is no longer a problem. Just because you haven't seen any yourself, doesn't mean it still doesn't exist.

I was interested in this in one of your posts, about the vow that freemasons are meant to honour:

if you can help, do, but not to the detriment of family, friend, of career.

Therein lies some of the problem. The more powerful a person is, the less likely it is that a favour given to a fellow mason will cause any detriment whatsoever to 'friend, family and career' and in some professions, it would have had a positively detrimental effect on family and career if a freemason hadn't 'helped' a fellow brother to gain an advantage that wouldn't have been available to a non-mason.

That vow is open to wide interpretation and all sorts of deeply unethical behaviour can be practised without 'friend, family or career' suffering any detriment at all. If someone is unethical enough to be corrupt in the first place, he will simply lie to cover his tracks so that he and the things that are important to him will not suffer.

DrHolmes Sat 23-Mar-13 22:46:15

Thanks Saul!

I'm also going to watch the F1 tomorrow, got a fantasy grand prix going at work smile

Night

FBN
I don't deny high level Masons exist, I've met plenty. But they are not deveil worshippers, any more than you are.

As for charity - some Masonic charities do exist for Masons; they're akin to a union in that sense; but as I've posted before, there's a hell of a lot gets paid out to non-Masons, including the RNLI, St John's Ambulance, the Red Cross (for national and international disasters), the Cyber Knife, air ambulances etc - none of which could remotely be reserved for Masonic benefit.

Anyway off to bed now as I have a chest infection and want to be up tomorrow to watch the F1, so night night everyone smile

DrH
The Sun is mentioned in the opening and closing of the Lodge. In the opening, the Lodge Master asks his two Wardens (there is a senior and a junior) where their place is in the Lodge. The Junior Warden answers, 'in the south' and the Master asks why; the reply is 'to mark the sun at the meridian, and to call the brethren from refreshment to labour, and labour to refreshment, that profit and pleasure may be the result'. The Senior Warden answers, 'in the West, to mark the setting Sun, and to close the Lodge, having seen every Brother has had his due [wages]'. the Master also asks the guy who was master last year (the Immediate Past Master) where the Master's place is, and he replies in the East, for as the Sun opens and enlivens the day, the Master is placed in the East to open the Lodge and employ and instruct the Brethren in Freemasonry'.

The closing is very similar but in reverse, and uses a lot of the same words. Every Lodge room is set out with the Master in the east, the JW in the south, and the SW in the West, to make the ritual make sense.

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Mar-13 22:28:55

I repeat: Their ceremonies are basically black magic and devil worship, though many of them will have no idea that that is what they are doing

I am a 'Lightworker', which means I work and pray for the greatest good.
In doing so I use symbols at times. They are often the reverse of the symbols that FMs use.

FMs work for the good of themselves, as you yourself have stated: and part to be spent in the service of a friend or brother in need.

The FM charity work is mainly for themselves - again the Care Homes for FMs, being an example.

I am not saying they are all bad people, they aren't.
But the highest level FMs (that you deny exist) are devil worshippers.

DrHolmes Sat 23-Mar-13 22:21:41

Finding saul's input interesting.

Can you tell me what the significance of the Sun is? And the alignement or something and once it's all worked out what is the anser at the end? Do you know what I mean? I looked up freemasonary a while ago and came across a website with lots of stuff about the Sun as if a question will be answered when the masons work it out.

This is a bit of a garbled message but I can't think of another way to put it, sorry!

FBN
Would you mind expanding your comments? I stand my mine - the candidate is playing a role in a story.

To be clear - Freemasonry IS NOT a religion.

SDB
You're welcome. I agree with you that the rituals are a bit archaic - and yes, Chaucer would be proud of the irony smile but for me personally, the appeal is not the secrecy (as I'm trying to demonstrate it's not as secret as people make out) but sense of belonging and doing something worthwhile. By way of explanation, every degree has what's known as 'the working tools' which are stonemason's tools, but we apply the workings to morals or our daily lives, rather that stone. The first degree's tools are the 24-inch gauge, the gavel, and the chisel. The master of the lodge tells the new initiate about the tools in the ceremony, and the 24-inch gauge is my favourite - the 24 inches relate to the 24 hours in a day, 'part to be spent in prayer, part to be spent in labour and refreshment, and part to be spent in the service of a friend or brother in need' - hence charity is at the heart of who we are and what we do. Yes, we can do that without Masonry, but Masonry teaches us to be better people within a wider concept, which is the USP for me.

I should just also mention about what we call God and the holy book. In order that we don't have to change the ritual wording for different religious denominations, we refer to God (Jehovah, Allah, etc) as The Great Architect of the Universe (in the second degree it's the Grand Geometrician O.T.U.) and teh Bible (or Torah, or Koran etc) as the Volume of the Sacred Law. TGAOTU and the VSL ARE NOT a masonic God and holy book, they're just terms we use to avoid confusion.

NC - there is NO REASON why a Mason cannot tell his partner what he's doing. In fact, as someone mentioned on the thread earlier, the support of the candidate's partner is key as if she's not supportive, it would not be right for him to join. On other threads I've seen comments about masons not letting their families see what's in their masonic briefcases - this is bullshit, there's nothing in there you can't see in a shop window or the internet. I don't dispute that there are masons out there that do this, but They. Do. Not. Get. It.

rgds
Saul

LtEveDallas Sat 23-Mar-13 21:50:23

Nope, was just pointing out the rituals used in religion are just as bizarre as the rituals used in Freemasonry. Didn't I make that clear?

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Mar-13 21:34:59

LtEveDallas: so you are equating Freemasonry to religion?

Saul In the ceremony the mason is playing a role in a short play, what's weird about that?
Top marks for effort.
So it's local amdram stuff with charity fundraising thrown in?

Pull the other one - it has bells on it.

NeedlesCuties Sat 23-Mar-13 21:21:31

It's the secrecy that bothers me most. Like it drives a wedge between a man and his wife. He goes out frequently (in some cases) and can't/won't tell his wife what he's been doing?

Doesn't sound good to me, and I'd go bucko if my DH joined it.

SimoneDeBeaver Sat 23-Mar-13 21:13:34

Sault thank you for posting. You sound as if you know a bit more than most on this thread, including me.

And LtEve is right, the rituals are no more weird or illogical than religious ones.

But they still strike me as strange and archaic in the 21st century (and as a practising Christian, yes I see the irony).

But more than anything I just do not see why there has to be this huge level of secrecy surrounding it all. Although I guess perhaps that's the appeal, it's USP? Without it, it would just be another (very good and very generous) charity?

<sigh>

For those saying Guides don't have boys, this is mainly for the reason that if they admitted boys, then girls from certain cultural backgrounds are likely to be prevented from joining because of those backgrounds, to avoid them mixing with boys.

Nothing at all like freemasonry keeping women out due to a misogynistic viewpoint.

LtEveDallas Sat 23-Mar-13 20:45:50

Lowering someone into a symbolic grave isn't weird?

Eating bread and drinking wine pretending that its human flesh and blood isn't weird?

Telling a story about a man that rose from the grave isn't weird?

Promising martyrs virgins to play with in the afterlife isn't weird?

Cutting off bits of your sons flesh isn't weird?

'Google it' referred to the Cyber Knife. The charity giving is huge, several hundred thousands from the central Grand Charity every year plus God know how much from each province and individual lodge/chapter.

In the ceremony the mason is playing a role in a short play, what's weird about that?

What else do you want to know? Ask. If I know, I'll tell you.

cjel Sat 23-Mar-13 20:32:19

Saul, You skip over very quickly all the progressions and expect that to expel myths? lowering someone into a symbolic grave isn't weird?Your post sounds as though the charity giving is large it is not. also google it? It is not the parts of freemasons that can be googled that are sinister and secretive, its the parts that you gloss over that aren't open.

FBN
Care homes are like any other where fees are concerned - the individual is responsible for fees, which may be covered by the local authority depending on the circumstances. Beds are primarily for Masons or their families but if there's an empty bed and no Masonic-qualified applicant any one is welcome. We had the chair of Trustees of the RMBI deliver a talk at my Lodge and the work they do on dementia in particular is fascinating.

Symbols are used by different groups in different ways to mean different things - e.g. the Swastika is banned in Germany as a Nazi symbol, but it's also prevalent in Indian religious lore (Hindu, Jain, Buddhist); no-one in their right mind equates any of these religions with mid 20th Century German fascism, do they?

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