Author Topic: Freemasonry: so not controversial. Internet take the L.  (Read 127 times)

The Overfiend

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Freemasonry: so not controversial. Internet take the L.
« on: June 03, 2009, 02:57:26 AM »

Owing to the unfortunate reticence of previous generations of Freemasons to discuss Freemasonry with non members it is perhaps no surprise that a considerable number of myths regarding Freemasonry have developed in popular culture.

Regrettably, some of these myths have been perpetuated by Freemasons themselves, preferring perhaps the romantic mythology surrounding Freemasonry to verifiable facts supported by documented evidence. The administrative bodies of Freemasonry internationally have also added fuel to the fire by refusing to confirm or correct assertions made about the organization.

It is important to understand however that although the many myths surrounding Freemasonry are often based on flimsy research and crumble under any generally accepted level of academic rigor they are no less a part of the organization’s heritage.

Freemasonry offers its members a rich tradition of symbolism and narrative as entertaining and enjoyable as any fantasy novel or movie, more often than not offering a significant moral lesson lacking in more traditional forms of fiction. Its fun, it’s romantic and it is no less a valid part of Freemasonry than the considerable amount of charity work carried out by Freemasons or the social interaction Freemasonry offers its members, their friends and family.

As always when dealing with symbolism the most important thing to maintain is a clear distinction between fact and fantasy. Let us be realistic about Masonic Mythology and acknowledge that it has not done too much harm to the organisation and certainly contributes a great deal of the mystique so often associated with it.

Freemasonry is unique in this respect as its mythology is one of its distinguishing features separating it from other service organizations.

Of course, every one must ultimately decide for themselves what they believe, but it is never bad advice to consider all the evidence and conduct some thorough research before deciding to accept any assertion, be it official statement or freely expressed opinion.

Ancient Origins

A commonly held but unfounded belief about Freemasonry is that it has been extant from time immemorial. It is most likely that, as with other quasi-mystical organisations formed in the 17th century, Freemasonry invented an ancient history in an effort to legitimize itself. This was a practice common across any number of similar organizations, including the Theosophical Society and others, which arbitrarily claimed direct descent from ancient civilizations as was the fashion at the time.

It should also be pointed out that although the ceremonial narative of Freemasonry centres on the building of King Solomon’s Temple, these stories should not be taken as anything other than fictions used to symbolically communicate the principles by which a Freemason is expected to regulate his conduct – duty, honour and charity. 

American Revolution

Another belief currently fashionable, particularly in the United States, is Masonic involvement in the American Revolution and the subsequent founding of the United States of America. The charitable version of the theory has it that American Freemasons fomented, guided and won the American Revolution and founded their newly independent country as a plot to further the cause of Freemasonry and its principles. This theory appears in such fictional movies as Disney’s National Treasure.

In an effort to support this theory it is commonly claimed that the signatories of Declaration of Independence were all Freemasons. This is not true as only eight or nine of the fifty six signatories can reliably be shown to be Freemasons. Though it is true that key figures in the American Revolution including Benjamin Franklin, General La Fayette, George Washington and Paul Revere were Freemasons it must also be noted that Benedict Arnold was also a Freemason and that a number of the masons involved in the American Revolution were made Freemasons after the event.

As to Masonic principles underpinning the new democracy and written into the constitution, the fact is of course that the principles of tolerance, freedom and equality were not restricted to Freemasons but were enlightenment values held by many men, Masons and Non Masons alike.

Curiously similar theories exist regarding the French Revolution, citing Masonic membership of Robespierre (unproven) and other luminaries of the French Revolution and of course the Revolutionary slogan, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity which is similar to Freemasonry’s own Brotherly Love, relief and truth. Again, no evidence of actual conspiracy exists and Freemasons aligned themselves with both sides of the revolution.

Knights Templar

The secrecy around the powerful medieval Order of the Knights Templar and the speed with which they suddenly disappeared over the space of a few years has led to many different myths ranging from their stewardship of the Holy Grail to their evolution into modern day Freemasonry.

The location of the Templars’ first headquarters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is sacred ground to Jews, Christians and Muslims and is believed to be the location of the ruins of Solomon's Temple and the ancient resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. In broad terms the myth has it that the Templars discovered documents hidden in the ruins of the Temple proving that Jesus survived the Crucifixion or possibly proving Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children by her.

Whatever the Templars are supposed to have found beneath the temple it is supposed to have been the source of their great power and success and they are supposed to have carried it with them in their flight to Scotland during the suppression of the order in 1307 and that it remains buried beneath Roslyn Chapel, the guardianship of which has been inherited by Modern Freemasonry.

As with many of the more complex and fantastic theories regarding Freemasonry these theories are relatively recent and their entry into popular culture can largely be traced to the early 1980’s and the release of the works The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, and, The Temple and The Lodge, by authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh.

This myth has commonly been conflated with a theory that the remaining fugitive Templars, fearing persecution by Church and State, sought refuge within the Medieval Scottish Stone Masons guilds, within which they slowly introduced teachings of virtue and chivalry eventually leading to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. This theory can also be dated to the early 1980’s and the publishing of John J. Robinsons book Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry.

Neither the works of Baigent and Leigh nor of Robinson provide any convincing or documented evidence, arguably relying for the most part on supposition and inference. Though both present fascinating and romantic theories they suffer from a serious lack of academic rigour.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 03:03:28 AM by Illuminati Click/Annunaki Posse »


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Re: Freemasonry: so not controversial. Internet take the L.
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 01:07:33 PM »
i remember my friend was a mason, and this guy knew another mason that sold grenades he acquired form military bases to other mason members.

how da fuck do they do that?

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J Bananas

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Re: Freemasonry: so not controversial. Internet take the L.
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 01:15:36 PM »
It's just a social club. Nothing more, nothing less.