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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!!

CoteDAzur Thu 21-Mar-13 20:24:00

Why do you think fun, kind, thoughtful, supportive, feminist men can't be Freemasons?

It is an intellectual club, not the Ku Klux Klan.

WipsGlitter Thu 21-Mar-13 20:24:51

It's a load of old cock. My bil is in it and it basically is a drinking club where they go out and get pissed.

AuntieStella Thu 21-Mar-13 20:26:38

The pinnies are quite pretty.

Basically, it's Scouts for grown ups.

Hopasholic Thu 21-Mar-13 20:29:40

I always think of Fred Flintstone grin

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:30:54

So it's an intellectual drinking club and I'm over-reacting you think grin

OK, I will breathe now. But still cross as I've had the dcs for 4 days now (he's away for work) and it's wearing thin.

Movingtimes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:03

Is it still a bastion of male privilege and bizarre quasi-mystical religious tosh?
Why yes I do believe it is.
If my DH considered getting involved I would definitely be questioning whether he was the person I thought he was.
Bigtime.

WinkyWinkola Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:21

See my dh did this too. He even bought me a book called The Freemason's Wife. I gave it back to him telling him I just wasn't interested.

He goes maybe 3-4 times a year.

So far, it hasn't impacted on family life.

Let them to their pinnies, white gloves and weird sayings.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:55

There are pinnies?? grin

who knew.

Do they still roll up their trouser leg?

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:35:40

I know the initiation to get in it. I was told by two seperate freemasons. I seems to know loads of them, they are everywhere!
They have these books with loads of rituals in it to learn.
Their initiation is to wear the apron,a noose round their neck, have a bag put over their head, someone stands in front of them with a sword pointed at their chest and leads them round a room basically as a trust exercise.

They do do a lot fo work for charity and also you will be looked after if he were to die. Things like that.

It is very common.

Oh, and they are sworn to secrecy so you won't find much out.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:36:23

Yes they still roll it up so show they are free and not chained to a ball! Or something! Sorry that is part of initiation too.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:38:26

Oh and they don't have to be religious pre se. They just have to believe in a greater being. Which essentially is religious.

Do you know who invited him to join or did he ask to join?

They do hold ladies nights you can go along to. For dinner and dancing.

Oh that reminds me, they get a 3 course meal, drinks etc each time they go!

Yama Thu 21-Mar-13 20:39:07

I, like my dh would lose all respect for someone if I discovered that they were a Freemason.

I think your first instinct was the correct one.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:39:08

you see Movingtimes this is what's thrown me. He's not the type I didn't think I've already told him I really don't like the idea of any institution banning women.

Ironically an ancestor was one of the few women admitted because she overheard a meeting through a cupboard/door or summat.

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 20:40:28

as long as they don't ask you to make the sandwiches!

Mintyy Thu 21-Mar-13 20:41:22

Omg, I would also be utterly floored by this!

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:43:37

DrHolmes I think I would rather stick pins in my eyes than go to a 'ladies' night'.

I understand about it not being religious, but that's another thing that slightly throws me as he's always been staunch CofE (son of a vicar) and I think the Church and Freemasonry are not best friends.

He was invited by old friends, 2 of whom I wouldn't grant with much emotional intelligence to be frank.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:44:29

If he ever tries to give me the Freemason's Wife I think I will LTB. sort of half joking

I know somebody who used to shag on their living room windowsill when the Lady Masons (wives of Freemasons) / Ma-i-sonettes had their meeting opposite their house.

hmm grin It usually caused a stir

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:47:07

Haha I can just imagine the pompousness of it all.

A guy at my work lets some stuff slip and i pressure him to tell me why he joined. He is also part of the Knights Templar (where they have real skulls in boxes and know where the bodies of some of the Knights Templar bodies are buried) and part of another group but i forget the name.

I said to him it seems to me he just wants to feel important and he laughed and said "yeah, maybe"...!!!

I find it strange for him to be part of all these groups which i can't see do that much when he has a wife and 2 kids at home.

AuntieStella Thu 21-Mar-13 20:48:52

"Oh and they don't have to be religious pre se. They just have to believe in a greater being. Which essentially is religious."

As I said, just like Scouts grin
As is having the uniform, strange gestures and a series of badges/levels to progress through.

Ladies nights are survivable, as long as you have enough to drink.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:49:30

grin at Pure

Interesting the different reactions - it is sort of a British running joke, but it also includes a lot of very influential men who no doubt do each other lots of favours.

So many things I really don't like about it. Privilege, secrecy, no women. And on a more personal level he's already away so much for work I really feel pissed off that he's choosing to spend yet more time away.

I would be more sympathetic if he was have a midlife crisis and going to raves.

Arf @ the Masons being an "intellectual drinking club". Intellectual really?

Around here it's for blokes that would like to be influential, but aren't.

If my DH started showing a prediliction for wearing a pinny and indulging in secret rituals I'd be a bit concerned.

WinkyWinkola Thu 21-Mar-13 20:55:11

"I would be more sympathetic if he was have a midlife crisis and going to raves."

Simone, you made me cackle!

He might lose interest. If you protest about it, then he'll definitely be more interested.

Just let him be. My dh is already sighing about the couple of nights a year he's said he'd go to... ... ... won't be long before the apron is gathering dust.

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 20:55:33

The ladies nights are no worse than a work do really. I always get a present too! Dreading DH being grand master or whatever as I'll have to make a speech at laydees night! However I'll probably get to choose the gifts that year...wonder if I could persuade him a magimix would be a good idea.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:56:01

Auntie - Do you know any secrets or anything? I just want to know one juicy secret.

I'm sure lots of business deals go on. Or say if people in an office and a job is advertised, the interviewer is a mason and he interviews a another mason and a non mason, he will favour the mason.

Police who are masons mysteriously making certain things disappear for another mason but wouldn't for jo public.

Thats the kind of thing that annoys me, the injustice!

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 20:58:26

bitdifferent but why should you have to do a speech if women aren't invited to join the club and you can't know anything about it?

I'd shove the gifts up their arse. Your husband pays for your gift through his memebership fees. He could just not go and buy you one instead!

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:59:14

Well exactly DrH.

If DH was ever Head Lobster or whatever and I had to go to the ladeez night I would choose vibrators for the gifts.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 20:59:39

fab cross-post grin

FarBetterNow Thu 21-Mar-13 21:00:45

There are different levels of Freemasons. They seem to rule the world at the highest levels.
Judges, politicians, business leaders, doctors, police, teachers, lawyers all have many Freemasons amongst them.
They swear allegiance to each other above all else, including the law.
They never work for the greatest good, but only for their own good.
Their ceremonies are basically black magic and devil worship, though many of them will have no idea that that is what they are doing.
It is often them who are involved in abuse and the cover up of abuse, ie Bryn Estyn, Haute de Garonne, Dunblane massacre.
Sorry, I don't mean to infer that your DH will become an abuser.

Jayne266 Thu 21-Mar-13 21:01:40

My BIL goes its sounds like a boys club he tried to get my DH to join and I went mental.

Oh and it has a really expensive annual fee to be a member.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:02:28

I think my tactics may be the same as used for dcs. If I ignore he may well lose interest.

^"Their ceremonies are basically black magic and devil worship, though many of them will have no idea that that is what they are doing.
It is often them who are involved in abuse and the cover up of abuse, ie Bryn Estyn, Haute de Garonne, Dunblane massacre. "^

Any proof of that?

OP, you could join the Eastern Star, doubt it would be nearly as 'interesting' though.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:04:05

again Farbetter you've pinpointed another niggle. If all they do is good works, why does it all have to be so secret? Because of course really it's to do good works for each other.

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 21:04:59

Ok, your opinion I'll leave it. I'll buy whatever food mixer I like, my Dh doesn't buy me household goods, it was a joke. Just saying it isn 't that weird and mysterious. There are a lot of events over the year for the whole family it's just the organising bit that's men only. My daughters go to Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. No boys there.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 21:05:09

Yes, I did say to my colleague about all the dodgy deals etc and he was like "nah, nah, no dodgy deals". Eh maybe not in his eyes but if they all put each other first (which they do) then it is a dodgy deal.

The subject of Freemasons interests me and annoyes me equally. I just want to know the secrets!

simone can you see your husband going through the initiation and revising the ritual books so he knows them off by heart?

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:05:51

and we really really can't afford an expensive sub.

Long chat needed I think. Not interested in all the stupid secret ceremonies but want him to be a sceptic and smell the bullshit if it's there.

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 21:07:48

Oh bit slow posting. Don't think my religious DH does black magic, nor is he involved in any abuse or law breaking. Hmm must go and read his little book.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:09:00

DrH he hasn't managed to finish a book for months because he has so much to read for work, so i can't see him managing to learn their booky wooky.

And he can think again if he wants to take more time away from me and the dcs to do it.

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 21:09:15

They are asked when joining if they have their partner's full support.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 21:09:33

simone good idea re. vibrators for gifts. Sounds like some of the wives need a good orgasm.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:10:02

Bitdifferent I don't think any one was having a go. And certainly not suggesting that all freemasons abuse their position.

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 21:10:53

bitdifferent so why does he go? What does he get out of it?

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:11:25

LineRunner - interesting.

Archetype Thu 21-Mar-13 21:13:42

my dads one. he's lovely and not sexist. he does it for the friendship I think smile

Archetype Thu 21-Mar-13 21:15:48

I've read the book too, no black magic or devil worshipping Im afraid.

rhondajean Thu 21-Mar-13 21:16:37

Pmsl at intellectual club!

That's good that is.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:17:11

Archetype - this thread is maybe a bit flippant and I'm sure there are lovely, kind and non-sexist freemasons.

But DH is all those things and has about 200 friends so I don't understand why he feels the need to join this particular club ...

Maybe he wants to know the secrets as well. wink

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:19:08

So to summarise, we think a boys' drinking club but very ritualised, expensive and at the top levels very influential.

How can judges make vows of allegiance above the law?

DrHolmes Thu 21-Mar-13 21:19:18

TO be fair, i'd join if i could. Just want to know the secrets because i'm nosy

Archetype Thu 21-Mar-13 21:20:36

df is quite intellectual and so are the other people I know in the 'club' how ever we live in a small area and I don't think they have much influence over anything. df was revising his lines for his pledge the other day...they were hilarious
very old fashioned

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 21:21:50

Eeeruuurgh, we just don't have the time or money for all this.

Thanks for all the input. I will raise the subject when he returns.smile

My dad is one.

As am I and as was my grandmother before me.

<runs off thread>

Umlauf Thu 21-Mar-13 21:25:08

I know loads of masons, in fact the second in command is a close family member. Most of my male family members except my dad and grandad are in it and they have both been invited in. My dad works in London and gets people giving him the secret handshake (that they do to try and suss out who else is a member) all the time. He taught it to me! He must look the part...

I've been to some of the family dos - mostly dinner dances or tea parties to raise money for charideee, they're great fun.

It basically is just scouts for grown ups, no magic rubbish. Said family member is an atheist afaik. I've not seen any evidence of it being influential but I guess it depends on the individual lodges and members.

They do have female masons (in their own right, not just wives of) and they have their own lodges. It all sounds like a load of woo though.

I should add. I never go to meetings or anything - I don't have time.

I did when I was younger though.

My great uncle was one of the very high ups back in the day.

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 21:26:51

They are 'lady masons'. Not actual masons.

Which says it all.

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 21:27:31

Drholmes, he goes because he wanted to find out about it. He wanted something new to study. (Think highly qualified HP at the top of his field with a pHD on top). He enjoys the conversation, meeting different people some twice his age who have time and experience to share with others.

Line - sorry but I am a member in my own right of The Order Of Women Freemasons.

FarBetterNow Thu 21-Mar-13 21:28:36

Masonic symbols are the same as black magic symbols.
The US dollar notes are covered in them
There are masonic architects who design buildings with masonic symbols.
Symbols do have power, whether good or bad. Churches have crosses.

I am not saying all Freemasons are evil by any means, but they are a law unto themselves.

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 21:31:42

'The Order Of Women Freemasons'

Precisely.

rhondajean Thu 21-Mar-13 21:32:35

Its a seperate order though, right Freddie? You aren't a member of the order of Freemasons?

RandomMess Thu 21-Mar-13 21:33:38

Freemasonary is anti-christian at it's core, probably not obvious at the fringes etc but in essence it is and it's err can't remember the word - deeply anti-women.

Well technically it's the honourable fraternity of antient freemasonry.

If you want to get technical.

Well, we are viewed as being the same by the male Freemasons, apart from the fact that we are female.

I also have entitlement to join the eastern star (I haven't) but I did carry an eastern star white bible on my wedding day.

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 21:37:19

See my post above re Guides etc not having boys. I'm guessing women Freemasons don't admit men.

And the Eastern Star have their own funny/weird initiations.

Guides don't have boys.

Why is it only male institutions that have to be inclusive? Shouldn't female ones as well?

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 21:42:53

Well, we are viewed as being the same by the male Freemasons

No, no you/we aren't.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 21-Mar-13 21:43:18

OP, I have sooo many problems with everything that freemasonry is about I'd feel the same if my DH decided he wanted to get involved

noelstudios Thu 21-Mar-13 21:43:26

It is like Games Workshop for sad, fat, old bastards in my book!

Well I'm not sad or far. Well maybe a bit. And I am old ....

The rituals are viewed as complying.

But it's not worth an argument.

I don't have a problem with it. I wouldn't have a problem with it.

It's an old boys club. Most of the men in my dads lodge are retired old farts. They do a lot of charity work.

I haven't been to a lodge meeting myself in years I'm anything but an expert so it's best I now out now

noelstudios Thu 21-Mar-13 21:47:38

Orks and tape measures etc. Hilarious! In my line of work it is always the suspicion that those promoted above their capability are somehow 'lodged up' - who knows what the truth is!

zzzzz Thu 21-Mar-13 21:51:24

They don't let disabled people in, unless they are only a little bit disabled.

I'd be horrified if my husband wanted to do that. shock

I am only aware of one occasion that rules were bent to ensure an outcome that was what a lodge member wanted. And in the circumstances they were utterly justified. Totally and utterly. And the masons did the right thing

I am sure there are more I don know about. But in the one I do know about I would go side by side with the masons involved any time. They were utterly right.

LittlePushka Thu 21-Mar-13 21:59:01

The pinnies are very lovely and especially on grown men, who have possibly never thought a person in an apron could be taken seriously wink

There are special imperceptible handshakes too, so that if you shake hands with another chap you can tell if he is a mason and whether he is lord high chief goat or a lowly ranking horseface grasshopper (or some such...).

Bitdifferent Thu 21-Mar-13 22:00:04

Freddie my point too about men & women and separate organisations. Don't care if I can't go with DH to masons just like d nephews can't go to guides with their sisters or my dds.

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 22:12:44

I don't think the guides sit on Planning Committees.

rhondajean Thu 21-Mar-13 22:13:05

Freddie you are viewed as being Thr same or you are the same?

World of difference.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 22:13:36

RandomMess - interesting that you think it's fundamentally anti-Xian because that would be a deal-breaker for DH. And yes, I can't shake the idea that it must be deeply misogynist.

But like most large groups, there'll be lodges that do lots of good and others that are more you-scratch-my-back.

Freddie I think the term is 'false equivalence' - men have had most of the power and influence for x thousand years, so they should get on and open up their clubs to women, whereas women-only clubs have just been attempting to redress the balance.

I think.

I dunno. It just doesn't sit right with what/who I thought 'we' (dh and I) were.

SimoneDeBeaver Thu 21-Mar-13 22:14:52

oh Line Runner that may be DH's master plan. He's become completely a bit obsessed by the local planners.

badinage Thu 21-Mar-13 22:30:54

You simply cannot be a feminist if you're a freemason. It's a deeply misogynist organisation that has been linked to sinister corruption at the highest levels.

The Jimmy Savile case, awful and horrendous though it is, has finally woken the world up to how 'charitable works' hide what really goes on and how evil people can escape scrutiny because of their public cloak of being doo-gooders and apparently 'untouchable'.

Freemasonry has been linked to some of the most severe miscarriages of justice, child abuse - and fraud in the public sector.

People joke about the ridiculous men who join it to feel important when they wield no influence in life and others celebrate it for their 'good works'. But dig deeper, do your research and see what its members have been involved in and what fellow members of the brotherhood have covered up on their behalf.

It is an evil that is allowed to flourish because of its secrets and because younger people especially, have no clue about how sinister and corrupt it is.

CoteDAzur Fri 22-Mar-13 08:06:55

I am amazed that you can hold such strong views about an organisation you clearly know very little about.

scottishmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 08:16:00

Feminist man.dont make me laugh.how cringey is that,oh my man so right on he's feminist
Freemasons,men drinking and being gits club,were they network and be cliquey
and associated bizarre rituals.just proves you're man is no post modern heroic feminist after all

CoteDAzur Fri 22-Mar-13 08:23:07

I was thinking of "feminist" as someone who believes in and supports equal rights and opportunities for men and women. Why do you think that can't be a man as well as a woman?

scottishmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 08:31:44

It's the whole oh my man so right on he's feminist,he even breastfeeds
Can a man be liberal,supportive etc yes.but don't embellish it as hasn't he done well

Fragglewump Fri 22-Mar-13 08:38:07

Goodness what a hornets nest! My hubby has been involved since invited by a friend in his teens. When we first met I was Intrigued and a bit scared as there is all sorts of guff said about it. He has also dabbled in knights Templar, and rose croix over the years. I asked him loads but was quite disappointed by how dull the reality is. However I do get the excitement for men - the initiation and secrecy is a bit exciting. You have to remember that this is a really old traditional organisation so by default it won't be particularly modern in its wordings etc but that doesn't make the people misogynstic! If they began it today I'm sure any dubious parts would be rewritten. Dh has never had a speeding ticket overturned or any other favours done for him. When he was younger he said it helped with his confidence and public speaking and he loved to chat to the old guys over dinner. They only meet a few times a year and now that he has been grand master or whatever they call it he can't be arsed to go much. Fil and bil are both members to but in different lodges. To be honest a lot of lodges are struggling for members to keep running as the older buggers die off. In summary, bit dull, not sinister, no satanism most of them I've met are genuinely lovely. I'm not a blinkered muppet either I'm sure some lodges are full of pompous corrupt back scratchy nastiness but there are a few bad apples in any organisation. I'm sure at some point your dh will tire of it. My advice would be not to whine at him and let home decide!

TomDudgeon Fri 22-Mar-13 08:54:33

If I were the op I would be tempted to stir a lot little if my dh joined.
But he wouldn't, as he's far to sensible and has been brought up by a family that manage to do their good works out in the open (though not flaunting them)

Once upon a time, yes, there was a significant element of the VERY highest Masons that were hugely influential and probably corrupt. But that was well over 100 years ago. These days it REALLY is not much different to the Rotary Club in that, predominently, they meet, have a meal and a chat and do a lot of charity work. I know a LOT of Masons and there really is no more to it than that. Yes they have their 'rituals' but it really is, as someone else side, more a continuation of a long-held history and a sort of glorified version of the Scouts!

An awful lot of rubbish has been written about Freemasonary over the years, including the likelihood that Jack the Ripper was a Mason and other Masons covered it up. Total and utter rubbish but there are still tens of thousands of people who think it's true.

The rituals involved in Freemasonary are no more ridiculous than WIs singing Jerusalem at every jam making session.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 22-Mar-13 09:21:00

I do hope the Freemasons is on it's last legs.

Years ago my parents had been invited out by some friends. Just before they were about to leave they received a phone call saying they were no longer welcome to come because my dad is a Roman Catholic. The event venue was the Freemasons' Hall shock hmm

if it's true that they don't allow disabled people to join, that's my DP out too, not that he'd want to ever join such a pathetic organisation. I know a few people who are members (including colleagues and neighbours) and tbh they all tend to be the sort of people who need to join a secret organisation in order to get on in life and they are a bit odd

NeedlesCuties Fri 22-Mar-13 09:40:48

Lots of stuff on Google about FM, and if you type Freemason into You Tube it brings up lots of odd satanic and occult vids.

As for the 'don't allow disabled people...' thing, basically what that means is that if the man has a disability which means he can't take part in rituals and vows then he can't join. For example, if he has no hands and can't do the handshake, or if he's deaf and can't do the repetition vows etc etc.

Is all a bit tragic.

DrHolmes Fri 22-Mar-13 09:43:03

Free that is a bit shock and hmm.

But! They do provide a lot of money for a lot of things. things you would never dream they'd have contributed to.
Infact they are the second largest donation charity next to the national lottery. So, if it did end, maybe alot of things would dry up. I know they give money to helpt he needy, for community halls, first repsonders in villages etc.
Things you'd think the council have done, infact, the masons have done.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 22-Mar-13 09:51:57

DrHolmes

Their charity work may have impressed people, pre the Jimmy Saville scandal hmm

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 09:55:52

badinage, I agree.

if Freemasonry is NOT sinister, please tell me why it is SECRET, EXCLUSIVE and SEXIST???????????????

DrHolmes Fri 22-Mar-13 09:56:37

But is it true they tried to cover up? How do we know?

TomArchersSausage Fri 22-Mar-13 09:59:55

Cubs for grown upswink

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:04:41

okay then, look at it rationally. Would the teachers at your school let the kids set up a junior branch along the same lines? I think that's a no, don't you?

IMO if people want to do good deeds and raise money for charity, they don't have to swear to keep secrets and cover up misdeeds, do they? They just go ahead and do it.
TomArchersSausage, I'd love to agree.But I don't.

Mintyy Fri 22-Mar-13 10:14:09

The WHOLE idea of it makes me cringe. If my dh or anyone I am close to revealed they were a freemason I would be utterly horrified.

Secret societies! - wtf? - its like Enid Blyton.

Mintyy Fri 22-Mar-13 10:15:10

"Its all a bit tragic" completely agree with that.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:08

Enid Blyton? Will there be lashings (of ginger beer)............................

DrHolmes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:18:08

I do agree there has to be something dodgy.
Even the women who say their husbands/dads are one and they know nothing goes on... They don't really know. They do stand by each other and they will have secrets fromtheir partners. My brother is one although doesn't go now and he would not tell me one thing about it. He said they are sworn to secrecy and the men all comply.
My grandad was a policeman and he was one, i only found out a couple of months ago.
Apparently lots of police in it.

undercoverSAHM Fri 22-Mar-13 10:24:58

Any secret male-only club is a bit dodgy tbh. Also, it's creepy when your DH keeps going out for whole evenings and saying he can't tell you where he has been or what he has been doing because he wore white nylon gloves, a blue polyester apron with bells on it, rolled up a trouser leg and swore not to tell. It is deeply misogynistic because it DOES involve them all swearing to help each other secretly and women are excluded. Promotion in some professions, particularly the police and the judiciary is cast under a pall because of this. I wonder if Jimmy Saville was one and that's how come he had sway with the police? Yes, it is very big in the police. I have connections with one of the very top lodges and it is stuffed full of people men in immense positions of power. It's very wrong.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 10:29:04

Yes, one of the 'friends' who invited him is ex-police and stinking rich

scottishmummy I'm not claiming he's a right-on, gosh-how-liberal man. I suppose when I say he's a 'feminist', he has always believed deep down that women are individuals, with equal rights to working, earning, etc etc, and gone out of his way to change his work to support mine, made sure he does equal 'wife-work' and generally we are an equal team with no secrets.

Which is why this latest thing DOES NOT COMPUTE. Anyway he's home but we're both working so I won't be able to give him the third degree ask him about it til later.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 10:33:59

I also know that he is surprisingly naive in unlikely ways so I honestly think he just knows nothing about freemasonry at all and just wants a boozy evening with old mates.

Still, I will make sure he does the due diligence (he will understand that wink)

Ooh, don't use the expression "third degree", that's got Masonic connections you know. Seriously.

I can understand some scepticism over it, I can. But I do get annoyed with the trotting out of "sexist" and it's wrong that something is "men only". Are men allowed into the WI? The Mother's Union of your local C of E church? Can boys become Brownies?

I trust, in due course, should I fall ill and need hospital treatment, that if the usual wards are full but there is a space in a maternity ward, they'll put me in there. Otherwise that would be sexist.

Bitdifferent Fri 22-Mar-13 10:43:01

But I know where my husband goes for the meetings and dinners. I've been there. It's just a suit of rooms in the city, not an underground cave. And all those saying there's all sorts on google about it why not just go to the freemasonry site?

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 10:44:20

He will come back singing this, surely??

EasterHoliday Fri 22-Mar-13 10:45:03

urgh, it's a bit like discovering he wants to join a golf club and wear cords and a blazer at weekends. How disappointing. The whole gin n' jag hyacinth bucket aspect of it is vile before you even get to the core values. My father in law was one, how he loved going & showing off his 25 yr younger wife at ladies' night... he did however see sense and now goes to Rotary instead which does its good deeds in broad daylight and in practical ways - he's been to Sierra Leone to build infrastructure etc.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:47:29

why not sugget he goes on a boozy evening with old mates then?Or take you out?

I think it works by appealing to (male) vanity..(WUP-DI-DOO, I've been INVITED), then they have to make promises to keep secrets, then they CAN'T back out. Is that what you want? A life partner who keeps secrets from you? I wouldn't. The fact that he tells you at the last minute would unsettle me. For **'S SAKE! Is this the 21st century or an episode of Sherlock Holmes????

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 10:50:51

sorry Voice but all-male clubs just wind me up. And it is NOT the same as not letting men into the WI. Men's clubs reinforce the huge advantages that men still have in our society.

motherinferior I think I will just show him that episode of the Simpsons. If he still doesn't get it I will despair.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 10:52:37

And BTW VoU, I didn't realise the WI, Brownies and the Mothers' Union meetings were held in secret, were by invitation only and swore to keep secrets fro non-members............................duh

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 10:56:31

Meh, I couldn't get upset if my husband wanted to do something on his own in his own time - whether that is joining a Squash Club, dressing up in a pink tutu, going to the pub or becoming a Freemason.

DH is a free man and able to do what he wants with his free time. It's nothing to do with me. I wouldn't dream of giving him any grief for it, or 'rethinking our relationship' <<cringe>>, or denegrating him to the point of ordering him to 'do his due diligence' - Christ, is he not grown up enough to make his own mind up?

In fact, if I decided to join the Freemasons (or actually, more likely the Buffs in my case) and DH even commented I'd be seriously pissed off

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 10:57:10

kweggie I had that conversation when he told me. I said, 'If you want to go out for a boozy night, that's great but if you want to give more to charity, we just can't afford it.' and (he'd said it was about self-improvement) - 'What does it do for self-improvement that the church doesn't?'

And yes, the secrets is what really upsets me, however stupid they possibly are..

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:28

But LtEve it's not really the same as going to a squash club, is it? I would be delighted if he went to learn how to build a wall, joinery, Spanish, etc etc.

And it's not 'in his own time'. Of course he is a free man, but he has commitments to us. He chose this job over a local one so travels a lot. I am delighted because it is a great job and makes him very happy.

But we have very little time together as a family, and it has already eaten into it this week as I had to look after house and dcs for a further 12 hours after 4 days so he could go to this sodding dinner.

cjel Fri 22-Mar-13 11:05:45

I don't beleive for one minute that its harmless and wouldn't want a partner who is involved. I have had discussions with people who went and joined. They are almost in tears when they remember it. They were not looked after when they needed it and considering the so called wealth of the groups they hardly give any to charidee. Dishonest and deceitful, would you consider anything else that was so secretive he would put them above you? What is it they need to keep secret? I would be very concerned!!

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:07:13

LtEve Dallas, so glad your husband is a 'free man'. Obviously every one has free will, and this is fine as long as they are making good choices and that you yourself have your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears if you don't really want to know.
Personally I think Simone is brave, right and shows TRUE INDEPENDENCE OF THOUGHT to bring it into the open. Worthwhile things always bear close scrutiny and open discussion. IMO

EasterHoliday Fri 22-Mar-13 11:07:21

it's a bloody good cover for anyone wanting to go shagging. Then again, so is golf.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:11:27

LtEve would your DH really not care if you joined the Freemasons??

OK, maybe you have a different kind of relationship, but I do mind if my partner suddenly appears to have lost his mind been led astray.

He used to read the Guardian grin

We used to listen to the Cure.

You see? Does Not Compute.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:59

EasterHol funnily enough that is the one thing I really am not worried about.

kweggie - how do you know none of those groups ever have secret meetings? Our local WI looks very dodgy to me and how often I hear the cry of "why wasn't I at that committee meeting when X was discussed". I was being facetious. But the point is valid - take the secrecy out and what ACTUALLY is the problem with a group of guys getting together? It is no different to a group of women getting together. There are female only organisations as well.

I find it hard to take it seriously, to be honest. I know some really lovely people who are Freemasons. Fabulous people. Do I think less of them as a result? No. Would I want to join if asked? No. Not my thing.

But I have to agree with LtEve. I would have a problem if my partner basically told me I couldn't do something (unless it involved sex, murder or hurting animals).

I also have to laugh at how many people say it's the secrecy they have an issue with because I don't believe for one moment that EVERYONE on this thread tells their OH absolutely EVERYTHING. You only have to see the numbers of threads about emotional affairs - and physical ones - where large swathes of MNers say that the female offender shouldn't tell their OH what happened.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:21:31

I'm certainly not going to say 'You cannot do this'. We just don't work that way.

But I want to make sure that he understands a bit more about what he's involved in. And more importantly the impact it might have on family time, finances and so on.

Honestly? I think the Freemasons bit is a bit of a red herring. I think it's more that we've been very careful to scale back spending on lots of things in the last 3 years, cancelled subscriptions, made sure voluntary work doesn't impinge on the weekends - and now he's announced he's coming back home 12 hrs late and £70 poorer. (that was the cost of the dinner).

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:25:00

Voiceof Unreason, you have answered it yourself.

Quote 'TAKE THE SECRECY OUT'

Now that wasn't that difficult, dear , was it?

kweggie - apologies, it was Simone who directly below one of your posts who said she had a problem with all male organisations.

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 11:30:05

Again with the 'meh.

I dont KNOW anything about the Freemasons - I'm not one. Unless you are one, then you can't KNOW there is anything wrong with it. If my DH came home one evening and said he was joining the Freemasons all I would want to know would be what evening of the week DD and I would be having Shepherds Pie for tea! (DH doesn't like it, so I only make it if he's out)

He also wouldn't care if I did it. Once a month I have to go to Mess Meetings where I am the only female in a room full of men drinking beer for a couple of hours. He doesn't care. If he did, and if he tried to put me off going, or was obviously pissed off that I did then I would be hurt, angry and disappointed in him. I would also consider his behaviour to be very controlling.

I trust DH not to piss me off too much, he trusts me to do the same.

(Oh and I used to be a shoe-gazer, then I was a hippy free spirit that went to all the festivals. DH was a Greebo and listened to Heavy Metal. We both grew up.)

Bitdifferent Fri 22-Mar-13 11:30:37

Are you sure that's where he went? My husband spends about £30 and is home in time for Question Time. Ask him where it was. The buildings tend to have some sort of sign indicating they're Masonic lodges.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:31:52

Voiceof you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I do not believe that all-female clubs are the same, or equivalent to, all-male.

I would have to go deep into the history of male-female politics/feminism to explain myself and I don't have the time atm.

and yes, why does it need to be secret? And it's not as if they need to broadcast all details on their website, the secrecy itself is a power thing, isn't it?

EasterHoliday Fri 22-Mar-13 11:33:00

LtEve - you see joining a secret club seems quite the opposite of getting grown up. Stick to the metal.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:33:46

LtEve see my post at 11.21 for why it's wound me up - we don't have the luxury of a spare evening in this household.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:34:52

yes quite Easter - OK at university maybe. But then grow up. And if you want to give lots to charity, it's hardly a small market, is it?

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 11:36:14

So is he away 4 evenings out of 7 then Simone?

simone - that's fair enough, it would be a strange world if we all agreed on the same things. But there will ALWAYS be some organisations that are exclusively male and others that are exclusively male.

I agree with your earlier posting that the Freemasonry thing is a total red herring. It's about time and money.

<spots obvious typo in previous posting - end of first para should say FEMALE of course - and gets his coat>

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:37:48

Bitdifferent yes he def. did go there - I'm not going into too many details but his travel arrangements meant he was away an extra night as a result of the dinner.

And don't read too much into that grin! It is exactly what he does every week.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:38:59

LtEve yes usually.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 11:41:28

LtEVE YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!!!
quote''I dont KNOW anything about the Freemasons - I'm not one. Unless you are one, then you can't KNOW there is anything wrong with it.''

I'm not a Nazi/ rascist/ whatever........either --but I don't need to BE one to know whether I think there is something wrong with it.........

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 11:42:37

Yes Jimmy Savile was a freemason.

And as posters have pointed out, the day the guides, the WI, the brownies or indeed any female-only organisation have been consistently accused of allowing their members to get away with murder, systematic child abuse or other serious crime, get lower sentences, evade detection, win public contracts unfairly, attain jobs not based on merit or ruin people's careers if they uncover the truth, the comparisons with freemasonry will be valid. All of these things have happened within the last 100 years, some of which have been proven beyond reasonable doubt (mainly planning and procurement scandals).

As was pointed out on another thread about this a few months ago, it's a big organisation with lodges everywhere and so not all of its members will even be aware of the corruption that exists, especially those who seek no favours and are not in positions to be able to give them. Evidently therefore, their partners and family members know less even than that, because it's an organisation that demands secrecy.

But even a rudimentary knowledge of human nature demands that you ask yourself a few questions. Why would men still pay so much money to be part of an organisation from which they derive only social benefit from? Why is it a 'society with secrets'? Why does it refuse to publish its membership and even when compelled to by the Home Secretary, did it lie and then spend its money fighting legal battles to prevent that demand? Why does it refuse to admit women? Why does it not have a photo ID for members to show when they visit another lodge, instead relying on members demonstating secret signs to one another to prove membership? How might those signs be used in other situations that would evade notice by non-members, but attract favourable treatment from fellow masons?

If you don't believe that it is sinister and allegations about it are the work of conspiracy theorists, have a look at the sort of people who have made allegations about them in the past. People like John Stalker, the former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, who was abruptly removed from office prior to publication of his report that the RUC had a shoot-to-kill policy in Ireland and had covered up murder. Read about the Jersey care home scandal at the Haut-de-Garenne and how the non-masonic police investigative team was similarly removed when they uncovered organised child abuse. Read about how Kenneth Noye a Grand Master got away with the murder of detective John Fordham, not to mention the life of crime that officer was investigating before his death. Read about the botched investigations undertaken by the initial Stephen Lawrence Murder Enquiry teams and the links between senior masonic police officers and the freemason father of one of the suspects.

I understand why people are joking about how pathetic it is that grown men pay to dress up, perform rituals and keep secrets but some of them do it for a good reason.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:44:11

have to go, but thanks for helping me sort thoughts.

kweggie - that's taking it to an extreme, but as with ANY organisation or company, there will always be someone or several someones who are corrupt or do bad things within it. Some of them may be female - shock horror. But Eves point is valid to the extent that it is all too easy for any one of us to spout forth on subjects with only a small amount of information.

I know people who are in the Plymouth Brethren religion. Some left it and say awful things about it. Others within it say the opposite. They are probably both right due to their own experiences.

A man spouting forth about childbirth will be told by plenty of women to shut up, he knows nothing about it because he hasn't been through it.

As I said before, there is a book that says Jack the Ripper was a Mason. It's been totally rubbished. But plenty will believe it. Just because ONE author says something doesn't make it true. Just because 20 people say Freemasonry is evil doesn't make it true. The difference with Nazism and racism is that there is HUGE evidence, irrefutable evidence of mass, widescale appalling atrocities.

There are bad apples everywhere. Just because there was SOME wrongdoing at the BBC - severe wrongdoing - does not make the whole BBC and everyone in it evil.

undercoverSAHM Fri 22-Mar-13 11:49:29

Yes, I agree it is nothing like the WI. Women don't swear to help each other out beyond the law, and to tear out each other's tongues if they talk about what happened at a meeting (even if minutes are not always wholly accurate!)

I do have issues with any club that is single gender (either sex), but especially ones that are secret and especially ones that are known to have abused that power and which contain very senior lawmakers and law enforcers. It should be a term of government employment (whether as doctor, policeman or judge) to declare membership of all secret societies. If the society won't let you be honest about belonging, then leave it. if you can't bear to leave it, then turn down the job.

OK, so they say in their rituals than anyone that squeals gets their tongue torn out. Quite a few people have come out the Masons and squealed about what supposedly went on. When was the last time any of them got murdered or had their tongue torn out?

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 12:00:28

OK, so it's nothing to do with the Masons then is it - you just don't want him to spend another night away, and that's understandable.

If DH approached me and said "I don't want you to join the Masons because its secretive, old boys network, devil worshiping" and all that bollocks I'd tell him to piss off and grow up.

If DH approached me and said "I don't want you to join the Masons because I only see you 3 nights out of 7 as it is, and I don't want to see you even less" I'd say - sorry love, I didn't think, I'll bin the idea then.

FarBetterNow Fri 22-Mar-13 12:00:37

Badinage - thank you for your last post.
You write much better than me.
I'd like to add missing and murdered children to your list.

I truly think that it is difficult for 'normal, good' people to comprehend the extent of the wrong doing that some of these FMs are involved in.

Maybe one day we will have the truth.
It has taken over 20 years for the truth to be told about Hillsborough.

Bryn Estyn atrocities surfaced again recently and copies of the original report have been found. (They were almost all destroyed in order to cover up the abuse).

Dunblane was given a 100 year gagging order, which is quite incredible.

Freemasonry is rife across the world.

Far - you say it yourself SOME of these FMs are involved in. SOME. Not ALL. The way some people post on this thread you'd think that everyone who is involved in the Masons has to be deeply suspect and unpleasant.

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 12:08:57

...and yes Kweggie. I am completely and utterly SERIOUS!!!!!
(and please, no need to shout or use copious amounts of exclamation marks - makes you look unhinged)

All I know about the Masons is stuff that sounds Conspiracy Theorist at best (tearing out tongues - really? what a load of bollocks). I tend not to judge people without knowing them and having experience of them, I'm the same with clubs/gangs/societies. I don't know the truth, so it's not up to me to judge.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 12:12:41

okay, let's simplify it then.

Why does it have to be secret. And it does, HAVE to be.

noddyholder Fri 22-Mar-13 12:14:16

My exes mums partner was in it They are corrupt and then some.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 12:19:15

LtEve, if you 'tend not to judge without knowing or having experience of them', how do you ever form an opinion? What do you do when you watch the news or read a newspaper?

A lot of very wealthy non-Masons give a lot of money to charities and organisations but don't wish it to be publicised for assorted reasons. Among which, perhaps, lots of begging letters. They do it in secret. Doesn't automatically mean they are corrupt tongue-tearers!

feetofclay Fri 22-Mar-13 12:22:48

I'm reading all this with great interest, as I am in the same position as the op. My dp has recently been invited to join, and is quite keen, but I am instinctively uncomfortable about it. I think for me, it's the secrecy that is the biggest issue. It totally goes against the way we work as a couple.

And I don't get why anything good needs to be secret - it just seems all wrong. He says he won't join if I don't want him too, but I don't want to be a controlling nag. I have (somewhat reluctantly) agreed to go to a dinner tomorrow night, where I have been assured I can ask whatever I want and challenge whoever I like.

Hope they're prepared!

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 12:24:06

There is a big difference between judging and forming an opinion Kweggie, so that question is nonsense.

As for the secretive nature Kweggie - umm, I'd hazard a guess at tradition? The same reason I have to wear seriously uncomfortable and impractical Mess Dress to functions, and cannot get up from the table for a pee until midnight! It serves no purpose, but becasue they've done it for 100 years, it continues.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:27

That's not a secret though, is it LtEve? Only your bladder is suffering. I think you are trvialising but I don't know why.

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 12:32:32

Home secretaries and deputy chief constables tend not to be conspiracy theorists though. These were rational, educated people who were concerned about inexplicable aberrations in the justice system and the links to freemasonry.

Fortunately though, we've now got a climate where it's not so easy to dismiss allegations of conspiracy and wrongdoing. Because as has been proved, often allegations of conspiracy that once seemed fanciful were in fact unerringly accurate. Savile, Hillsborough, Elm House and the identities of the powerful men (including a different Home Secretary) who attended parties there. The links between Savile, the Haut-de-Garenne and a former Prime Minister.

It's already been pointed out that it's illogical to state that every ordinary freemason has a nefarious or criminal agenda. As illogical as it would be to state categorically that none of them have.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 12:32:33

judge - definition of judge by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus ...
www.thefreedictionary.com/judge
To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration:

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 12:40:15

Tradition doesn't explain secrecy. If giving up a relatively meaningless tradition meant that an organisation would be able to defend itself against serious allegations, it would do it straight away. Secrecy brings greater gains though.

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 12:43:59

I really don't get why people get so wound up about things like this. To the point of rudeness and patronising posts?

If it's not for you (or your family) so be it - you cannot be forced to join at gunpoint. But why labour the point and harp on about things that you have read, or heard about or assumed?

Of course I am trivialising - I find the issue trivial. Not for the OP, not now she has cleared up the real reason for her distaste. I agree with the OP that a man (or woman) who is away from home 4/7 shouldn't be trying to get away for yet another night, leaving their partner picking up the pieces. But to be against something simply because of rumour, conspiracy theories and "I know a man that knew a man" strikes me as rather daft.

Masons probably were all knowing and all powerful 100 years ago, but these days? Meh, not so much. The world is different now.

(although I really do wish that the Army tradition of not leaving the dinner table would be phased out - my bladder control went the same way as my figure post DD - It bloody well kills me now [sad})

^ THIS.

Fragglewump Fri 22-Mar-13 12:56:29

My husband answers any question I ask about freemasonry I actually find some if it quite interesting and some of it dull as ditchwater less so. I actually feel a bit sick and sad that some hysterical people are suggesting that child abuse etc is rife. I think there are historic links to the rosslyn chapel and the da Vinci code with all the Masonic symbolism but I haven't researched the detail. As far as being unable to leave goes its total hogwash my dh has left and rejoined a few times over the years as his work and home commitments have changed. I wouldn't dream of telling him what to do with his time as I'm not a nagging fishwife and have a life of my own. I'm proud of dh and the millions that freemasonry raises for charity including teddies for every child admitted to the local hospital. If you're scared then stay away but don't slag off all men who join as most are lovely.

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 12:59:47

I think the reason people get so 'wound up' about this is because we want a fair and just society where people are treated equally and because we know that isn't currently the case, for all sorts of reasons and not just freemasonry. Because there is a world beyond our own relationships and what affects us personally.

Ashoething Fri 22-Mar-13 13:05:15

Anti-catholic bigoted twats.Thats all.

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 13:05:16

Who could argue that raising money for charity is anything but good? but that's the visible part. Why not make it all transparent?

Ashoe - you are now making them sound a bit more interesting to me. I like lots of people who are Catholics but I have far more issues with the Catholic Church than the Freemasons!!

FarBetterNow Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:15

'Fragglewomp': No one has suggested that child abuse is rife and no one has slagged off all men who join the Freemasons.
I have particuraly been careful to imply and state the contrary.

There have been some female secret societies, of course.

There are probably far more than male ones, you women are so much better at keeping secrets smile

kweggie Fri 22-Mar-13 13:33:53

.:,-_'#,.,,. oh sorry Vof U, thought we were wandering off topic there , yawn....lol

LtEveDallas Fri 22-Mar-13 13:33:57

Yes Fraggle, I have found a lot of the posts on here to be very rude, especially when there are a number of Freemasons and Lady Freemasons that are MNers, or the partners of MNers.

I really think there is no need for it.

So, these bloody Catholics..... smile

zzzzz Fri 22-Mar-13 13:43:37

So do the FreeMasons, resume entry to the disabled, females, Catholics? Is it just Catholics or are other religions singled out? Is it just some disabilities or all? What about different ethnicities?

Putting aside all the underhand wheeler dealering, they sound totally un appealing.

JustinBsMum Fri 22-Mar-13 14:02:52

Sorry -haven't read all, but I thought freemasonry was largely a support group for themselves.
This lead to eg the police being made up largely of Freemasons, a natural occurrence if you are all 'helping' each other up the ladder, during the 60s and 70s, I believe.
So not a force for good imo.

Perhaps it contributes to the lack of women in boardrooms today? we'll never know because they are 'secret' (as women can't join).

Fragglewump Fri 22-Mar-13 14:05:28

I'm not sure this hysteria is right - I think any man who believes in a universal force or however they word it can join. I think that the Catholic Church discourages members from joining as they think its anti catholic. I'm pretty sure that dh lodge has c of e, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans and Catholics amongst others. Also unsure of the disability thing - sounds weird to me and I'm sure some masons I've met are in wheelchairs. But 100% that women can't join. I wouldn't want to as all the ritual and stuff would bore me. Plus my dressing up outfits are much better.

zzzzz Fri 22-Mar-13 14:06:11

Resume should read refuse

Gingerandcocoa Fri 22-Mar-13 14:31:56

Again, sorry I haven't read all of the posts.

Perhaps you could encourage him to speak to your vicar about it? He might be able to provide some insight into why joining the freemasons might not be a great idea...

FarBetterNow Fri 22-Mar-13 14:43:19

It's not entirely true that the Church is against Freemasonry.
FMs have a chaplain and these can be vicars and rectors.

LineRunner Fri 22-Mar-13 16:11:59

What bothers me a tad is councillors being masons. It is entirely possible to have, say, a licensing sub-committee made up entirely of three masons, with the applicant being a mason, and the advising council officer being a mason.

It is not the same as saying, 'Well they could all all theoretically be women in the WI'. That's a specious argument.

Bitdifferent Fri 22-Mar-13 16:18:54

You do know everything is on their web page don't you? Google Freemasons and go to the UGLE page. You can even download their rule book if you like. Mentions nothing about ripping tongues out if you choose to leave. It's really not that secret.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 16:25:26

Have been thinking on it to and from a meeting.

LtEve yes, DH being away for another night is a large part of why I don't like it, the fact that it is the Freemasons is also still a problem for me. Sorry not to be black and white for you.

Ginger DH could talk to our vicar, but as she's a gay woman in a civil partnership I can't imagine she'll be sympathetic grin

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 16:29:22

The signs that members make to other freemasons to denote membership are secret.

As are membership lists. Grand Lodge wouldn't even supply these to the Home Secretary when asked to do so.

It really is that secretive and even Grand Lodge themselves don't pretend that it isn't. As they at pains to point out to their detractors, they are not a 'secret society' but a society with secrets.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 16:30:26

Bitdifferent if you believe everything is on their webpage, then so be it.

Voiceof actually that's patronising tosh.

Bitdifferent Fri 22-Mar-13 16:45:48

Ok so anyone who has a different opinion can't be listened to. Was just trying to reassure you that you can find out loads of info if you look properly. Ofcourse you' re right they wouldn't state they cut out people's tongues on their website...oh yes and loads if different religions are represented. Hindus, Seihks, Muslims, Catholics, C of E.
Back to real life here. Sausage casserole won't make itself and Kumon and SATs practice won't get done without some supervision.

badinage Fri 22-Mar-13 16:49:52

Disagreement and debate about points made isn't the same as 'not being listened to'. You are entitled to your opinion, as is anyone. But posters are equally entitled to disagree and even more helpfully, to say why.

LineRunner Fri 22-Mar-13 16:55:22

I dislike freemasonry. But in the spirit of freemasonry, I am keeping my reasons secret.

Toasttoppers Fri 22-Mar-13 16:59:20

FIL is high up in the Masons, well in his local branch, he got DH an invite, he turned it down.

FIL spends a lot of time doing freemasonry stuff, seriously loads.

Toasttoppers Fri 22-Mar-13 17:01:13

As well as pinny thing he has some peculiar knights Templar full on cloak kind of Richard the Lionheart outfit.

PoppyField Fri 22-Mar-13 17:07:25

Don't be fooled. Think coppers, journos, politicians, scrap dealers, butchers, bakers, councillors, estate agents, lawyers, developers - whatever you like...forget the charidee, it's all about networking and collusion and it's secret - so it can be as corrupt and nepotistic (let alone sexist) as you like. In some professions you'd be left out of 'the know' if you failed to join the lodge. Shocking number of Scotland Yard detectives were in the lodge a few years ago - it may be changing now, but getting out of a bad breathalyser test used merely to depend on giving the right handshake.

I would not be surprised if Freemasonry was not at the heart of the whole Police-Press-News of the World/Phone Hacking scandal vortex.

It deserves to be blown apart.

SimoneDeBeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 17:12:20

Bitdifferent I know I can find out loads, I've googled etc, but that's not the point. The fact that there is secrecy within this society is a problem for me.

cjel Fri 22-Mar-13 18:18:10

I am not sure that his secret society full of clever men would be writing a web page with anything other than what they would want you to know.I also think that the number of times that we have heard these weird stories with no proper proof to denounce them would suggest more that a grain of truth, I am sure that there are freemasons who are not into the dark side but also think some are. It amuses me to hear that it has been disproved that Jack the ripper was a fm. How on earth has that happened ? and by whom?

Ashoething Fri 22-Mar-13 18:26:24

For those of you making light of the fact that the fm are anti-catholic-would you find it acceptable if I said they refuse black/asian/whatever members? Someone very much further up the thread mentioned the klu klux klan-they werent far off-fm started it.

Bitdifferent Fri 22-Mar-13 20:08:19

I wasn't going to post again but what ashoething just wrote is utter rubbish. My own Dh isn't white, the majority of his lodge is Indian or Pakistani origin. The Freemasons are huge in India too.

Ashoething Sat 23-Mar-13 09:13:29

They are anti-Catholic. Fact.

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Mar-13 09:29:25

Interesting perspective. I have a friend who is a judge, and a mason, and if anyone tries the old secret signals in court, he treats them more harshly for attempting to use masonics to their own advantage.

So it doesn't always work like that.

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Mar-13 09:33:05

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry#Ritual.2C_symbolism.2C_and_morality

not the best source but the handiest.

Candidates for regular Freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being.[34] However, the candidate is not asked to expand on, or explain, his interpretation of Supreme Being. The discussion of politics and religion is forbidden within a Masonic Lodge, in part so a Mason will not be placed in the situation of having to justify his personal interpretation.[35] Thus, a Christian Mason will interpret the term "Supreme Being" in a Christian context, while a Muslim Mason will interpret it in a Muslim context, and a Hindu Mason will interpret it in a Hindu context, (etc.). While most Freemasons would take the view that the term Supreme Being equates to God, others may hold a more complex or philosophical interpretation of the term.

In the ritual, the Supreme Being is referred to as the Great Architect of the Universe, which alludes to the use of architectural symbolism within Freemasonry.[36][37]

A Volume of the Sacred Law is always displayed in an open Lodge in those jurisdictions which require a belief in the Supreme Being. In English-speaking countries, this is frequently the King James Version of the Bible or another standard translation; there is no such thing as an exclusive "Masonic Bible".[38] Furthermore, a candidate is given his choice of religious text for his Obligation, according to his beliefs

The denomination with the longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church. The objections raised by the Roman Catholic Church are based on the allegation that Masonry teaches a naturalistic deistic religion which is in conflict with Church doctrine.[77] A number of Papal pronouncements have been issued against Freemasonry. The first was Pope Clement XII's In Eminenti, 28 April 1738; the most recent was Pope Leo XIII's Ab Apostolici, 15 October 1890. The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication.[78] The 1917 Code of Canon Law also forbade books friendly to Freemasonry.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Sat 23-Mar-13 12:16:35

Big different. You should read Ashoething's post again. She was saying the Freemason's are anti-Catholic which in my experience they absolutely are. If your DH is happy to be part of an organisation like that, that's a matter for him hmm

LtEveDallas Sat 23-Mar-13 12:34:14

The denomination with the longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church. The objections raised by the Roman Catholic Church are based on the allegation that Masonry teaches a naturalistic deistic religion which is in conflict with Church doctrine

Doesn't that mean that actually it's the Catholics that are against the Freemasons, and not the other way around? Catholics don't agree with the teachings of FM?

I don't agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church, but that doesn't make me anti-catholic.

I'm in the Army, but that doesn't make me anti-pacifist.

Ashoething Sat 23-Mar-13 15:57:42

The roots of the klu klux klan can be traced back to the masons. Yet there are wifeys on here trying to make it out its just an innocent old boys drinking clubhmm

cjel Sat 23-Mar-13 16:04:30

thats the whole problem with the secrecy. Bet wifeys though KKK was just boys club at times as well.

LtEveDallas Sat 23-Mar-13 16:12:30

Isn't that funny, I'd been told that the roots of the KKK were Scottish grin. Do you mean the original KKK or the modern one?

Ashoething Sat 23-Mar-13 16:13:43

Sorry-apologies I meant to write the orange order-another deplorable organisation- but I was trying to make the analogy so that people see that it is not just some harmless group doing good works-if it were there would be no need for the secrecy.

LtEveDallas Sat 23-Mar-13 16:26:17

The Orange Order as in the Orange Marches in NI?

OK, this is all too religious for me now. Religion of any kind pisses me off - too many rules, too many bad guys, too much persecution and violence.

All the best.

Dadthelion Sat 23-Mar-13 16:35:39

Why do posters keep referring to 'wifeys' all sounds very disparaging

The KKK and the Masons are one and the same and faked the moon landings to stop a Jewish plot to allow the Lizard people to take over the world.

It's true my uncle's friend told me, he was there, said it was out of this world.

I also read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

VitoCorleone Sat 23-Mar-13 16:43:50

24 years ago my dad was killed in a hit and run. Police later found the driver and dispite the fact he had ran over my dad and left him to die he got away with it scot free.

We later found out the driver was a freemason.

notthesamenametoday Sat 23-Mar-13 17:28:06

Vito that's terrible. So sorry.

It's disgusting that Freemasonry is so endemic in the police. It feels like corruption.

FeistyLass Sat 23-Mar-13 17:47:22

I'm late to this thread but laughed out loud at the 'intellectual club'.

An ex was in the freemasons. His membership scroll was framed and displayed on his bedroom wall (yeah, that's right, it's a secret organisation but he was so proud of being a member, he had the scroll framed hmm ).

I read his little book, and also read an expose from a former member. The latter was much more interesting reading. It said that lower members are only given so much information and take an oath to a higher being. Apparently as they move up the ranks they are given more information about 'who' or 'what' the higher being is.

The other issue I remember (and I never got to the bottom of it) was that they use a different calendar. So said framed scroll had a different year at the bottom. Dear, kind but dim ex didn't know why that was.

Also, as well as 'charitable' works, they arranged nights out to lapdancing clubs - I can't see the Rotary, the Guides or the Brownies doing that hmm . imo it's a bastion of sexism, secrecy and privilege.

FeistyLass Sat 23-Mar-13 17:48:27

Vito I'm so sorry, I x-posted and wasn't being flippant about your experience at all.

springyhiphop Sat 23-Mar-13 18:07:14

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

Just highlighting this again. It has very sinister roots and the majority have no idea about that.

You said upthread OP that if it was anti-christian that would be a total non-starter for your DH. It is anti-christian on a major scale.

It's dead uncool to say so though, deemed as scaremongering and daft to make a fuss. But I'd make a huge fuss if any of my loved ones, particularly my husband, got involved. Seriously dark.

springyhiphop Sat 23-Mar-13 18:08:41

many of them will have no idea that that is what they are doing

Bold fail - labouring the point

VBisme Sat 23-Mar-13 18:12:52

I know some freemasons, they are as far away from intellectual as you can get, but they would like to be influential.

It seems like a poor quality working mens club round here.

I only to aim to post once on this as some people are so deep-rooted in their blind hatred of Masonry that sensible discourse on the subject is unlikely.

Religion - Freemasonry is not anti-Catholic (or anti-Christian or anti-Islam or anything else). Freemasonry welcomes anyone (men into some orders, women into others) who believes in a supreme being - any one will do, we're not fussy, it can be God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Buddha, Vishnu, Allah, etc etc - and this is something that the Catholic Church can't stand. Catholics are banned from being Freemasons by Papal edict - several of them in fact - on pain of excommunication. I've sat in Lodge with other Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews, all in the same room, and we were all friends and brothers. A lesson for some of the world's governments if ever i saw one.

Rituals - there are three degrees (I did smile slightly when the OP said she was going to give her DH the third degree smile ) in 'Craft' Masonry, and they broadly relate to birth, life, and death. The first degree, or initiation, teaches us to remember when we came into the world we had nothing, and thus when we encounter other people who have less than us we should exercise charity (one of the three central pillars of Masonry, the other two being truth and brotherly love). The second degree, or passing, is about working hard through life; and the third degree, or raising, tells the story of the death of the first Master Mason, Hiram Abiff, who was assassinated during the building of King Solomon's Temple. During the ceremony the mason being raised plays the part of Hiram Abiff, and is lowered into, and raised out of, a symbolic grave, which is where some of the occultist bullshit stems from, but there's nothing occultist about it I can promise you. Each degree has it's own apron, and yes, in the three degree ceremonies the trouser leg is rolled up, so that there is nothing to separate us from Mother Earth when we kneel to make the obligations. After completing the three degrees of Craft masonry one becomes a Master Mason and then, if he wishes, can go on to join Mark Master, Royal Ark Mariner, Holy Royal Arch, Rose Croix, Knights Templar, Royal & Select, Allied Masonic Degrees, and other orders.

Corruption - during the 60's and 70's it was rife, and it's true that a lot of masonic judges and coppers were bent beyond all recognition. To be clear, once and for all, Masons are NOT required to help other Masons at all costs. We promise to help 'a friend, or Brother, in need, that not being detrimental to our selves or our connections'. The language is old-fashioned but the meaning is clear: if you can help, do, but not to the detriment of family, friend, of career. Some people chose (and I daresay some still do) to interpret this differently but there are bad apples in every barrel and Freemasonry is no different.

Charity - the Masonic charities give hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to charity. Every air ambulance in the country is supported by their local Masonic province, and at least two lifeboats have been purchased outright with Masonic funds; the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution owns and maintains 13 care homes for the elderly and are becoming leaders in dementia care, and London Masons recently raised enough money to buy a CyberKnife for Barts Hospital. Google it.

rgds
Saul

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Mar-13 19:47:13

Saultanpepper:
Re the care homes - how do the fees for them work?
Do the patients pay or is it a freebie - a perk of being an FM?

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Mar-13 19:52:46

Saultanpepper:
Freemasonry symols are the same as in Satanism.
The FM & Satan pentagram is one point down, the Wicca pentagram is two points down.
Etc Etc

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?

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.

'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.

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?

<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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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