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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?


saultanpepper Sat 23-Mar-13 22:41:54

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


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?

saultanpepper Sun 24-Mar-13 13:54:43

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.

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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