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Anyone ever been involved with the Freemasons?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by jonesn, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. jonesn

    jonesn Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Evan "Trouble" Jones
    I'd like to get a first-hand opinion on what it's really about. I know it's a huge organization, so each division is a case in its own, but what's the real purpose of it?

    No conspiracy theories, please
     
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  3. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
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    Just as an interesting side note, Mozart was a freemason :) In fact, a bunch of prominent people in Europe at the time were.
     
  4. rico

    rico Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
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    I come from the UK so can only talk about what i know about the English Freemasons.

    Basically its a 'secret' society where people get together to do good for the local area. Raise money for charities, etc.

    There is a lot of conspiracies saying they're dodgy and have links with the mafia, police whatever. Largely this is untrue.

    If you want to become a Freemason to get a get-outta-jail free card or something then that is not the right motive.

    I would say that by becoming a Freemason you will become friends with people who might be able to help you out in the future, but then thats no different from joining a new sports team and finding contacts there.
     
  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    I really don't have a clue, so let me first state that. My only exposure or knowledge of them is...

    1 - Been around a long time and have always been very good for communities and charity.

    2 - At one time they must of had much money, because almost every Masonic Temple is just a gorgeous piece of architecture. They look like fortresses. They were mostly off limits until recently.

    3 - Lately many of the older members have been dying off (WWII era) and the new membership recruiting hasn't kept up. Knew someone in college approached to be a member and they were pretty desperate for members.

    4 - Have heard some initiations have included dropping your pants and being spanked. :)

    Check the internet, nothing is a secret anymore, you can find out most anything. I kinda like the idea of secret societies. Skull & Bones has always intrigued me.
     
  6. jonesn

    jonesn Formula Junior

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    Thanks everyone!

    I've looked around on the net but all I find is conspiracy mumbo-jumbo, so I figured someone here would give me (some of) the real lowdown.
     
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  8. DropGems

    DropGems Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
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    They're evil satanists!!!!
     
  9. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I like that club that Homer Simpson joined in one of the episodes....are they like that ?
     
  10. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
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    Ok, dont hold your breath!!!!

    Freemasonry, teachings and practices of the secret fraternal order officially known as the Free and Accepted Masons, or Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

    Organizational Structure


    There are approximately 5 million members worldwide, mostly in the United States and other English-speaking countries. With adherents in almost every nation where Freemasonry is not officially banned, it forms the largest secret society in the world. There is no central Masonic authority; jurisdiction is divided among autonomous national authorities, called grand lodges, and many concordant organizations of higher-degree Masons. In the United States and Canada the highest authority rests with state and provincial grand lodges. Custom is the supreme authority of the order, and there are elaborate symbolic rites and ceremonies, most of which utilize the instruments of the stonemason-the plumb, the square, the level, and compasses-and apocryphal events concerning the building of King Solomon's Temple for allegorical purposes.


    The principles of Freemasonry have traditionally been liberal and democratic. Anderson's Constitutions (1723), the bylaws of the Grand Lodge of England, which is Freemasonry's oldest extant lodge, cites religious toleration, loyalty to local government, and political compromise as basic to the Masonic ideal. Masons are expected to believe in a Supreme Being, use a holy book appropriate to the religion of the lodge's members, and maintain a vow of secrecy concerning the order's ceremonies.


    The basic unit of Freemasonry is the local Blue lodge, generally housed in a Masonic temple. The lodge consists of three Craft, Symbolic, or Blue Degrees: Entered Apprentice (First Degree), Fellow Craft (Second Degree), and Master Mason (Third Degree). These gradations are meant to correspond to the three levels-apprentice, journeyman, and master-of the medieval stonemasons' guilds. The average Mason does not rise above Master Mason.


    If he does, however, he has the choice of advancing through about 100 different rites, encompassing some 1,000 higher degrees, throughout the world. In the United States, the two most popular rites are the Scottish and the York. The Scottish Rite awards 30 higher degrees, from Secret Master (Fourth Degree) to Sovereign Grand Inspector General (Thirty-third Degree). The York Rite awards ten degrees, from Mark Master to Order of Knights Templar, the latter being similar to a Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Mason.


    Other important Masonic groups are the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, to which many African-American Masons belong; the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (the fraternal fun order for Blue Lodge Masons); and the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Thirty-second degree Masons who, as the Shriners, are noted for their colorful parades and support of children's hospitals). There are also many subsidiary Masonic groups, including the Order of the Eastern Star, limited to Master Masons and their female relatives; De Molay, an organization for boys; and Job's Daughters and Rainbow, two organizations for girls. Many of the orders maintain homes for aged members.


    Development of the Order


    The order is thought to have arisen from the English and Scottish fraternities of practicing stonemasons and cathedral builders in the early Middle Ages; traces of the society have been found as early as the 14th cent. Because, however, some documents of the order trace the sciences of masonry and geometry from Egypt, Babylon, and Palestine to England and France, some historians of Masonry claim that the order has roots in antiquity.


    The formation of the English Grand Lodge in London (1717) was the beginning of the widespread dissemination of speculative Freemasonry, the present-day fraternal order, whose membership is not limited to working stonemasons. The six lodges in England in 1700 grew to about 30 by 1723. There was a parallel development in Scotland and Ireland, although some lodges remained unaffiliated and open only to practicing masons. By the end of the 18th cent. there were Masonic lodges in all European countries and in many other parts of the world as well.


    The first lodge in the United States was founded in Philadelphia (1730); Benjamin Franklin was a member. Many of the leaders of the American Revolution, including John Hancock and Paul Revere, were members of St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston. George Washington became a Mason in 1752. At the time of the Revolution most of the American lodges broke away from their English and Scottish antecedents. Freemasonry has continued to be important in politics; 13 Presidents have been Masons, and at any given time quite a large number of the members of Congress have belonged to Masonic lodges. Notable European Masons included Voltaire, Giuseppe Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Franz Joseph Haydn, Johann von Goethe, Johann von Schiller, and many leaders of Russia's Decembrist revolt (1825).


    Opposition to Freemasonry


    Because of its identification with 19th-century bourgeois liberalism, there has been much opposition to Freemasonry. The most violent in the United States was that of the Anti-Masonic party. Freemasonry's anticlerical attitude has also led to strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, which first expressed its anti-Masonic attitude in a bull of Pope Clement XII (1738). The Catholic Church still discourages its members from joining the order. Totalitarian states have always suppressed Freemasonry; the lodges in Italy, Austria, and Germany were forcibly eradicated under fascism and Nazism, and there are now no lodges in China.


    DrS
     
  11. richard

    richard Formula 3

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    DrS,

    Very interesting read. Thanks!
     
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  13. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
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    My father-in-law was a freemason and his wife an Eastern Star. I only know that they did have very symbolic ceremonies but the community members are very tight and supportive of each other. Going cross country and have car trouble, no money and no place to stay? If you are a free mason, just check with the local lodge. Help is but a phone call away.

    As stated above, they also help in the Shriners burn hospitals and vision centers. Help communities raise funds for all sorts of worthy needs. I saw nothing Satanic in what they do and do know that both of them are Christians and members of the Presbyterian Church.

    I am not one but did consider it at one time. You have to approach a Free Mason if you want to join and they vote you in or out after you place an application and it is reviewed with an interview process and reference checks.

    I see no evidence of conspiracy junk here............
     
  14. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    facinating thread, i myself have always wondered what they were about.
     
  15. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Just do an internet search. Once i found a whole lot of info on them including their password, secret grip, anbd traditions. It seems like a fraternoity for old men, except the stuff you have to do to get in is stupid and childish. When i was pledging i was never spanked or physically abused. I hear that they are associated with the new world order and are trying to take over the world.
     
  16. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    My Dad was a Mason, but I'm not. HW, from what I have been told over the years is the Masons were actually the first Protestants. Indeed, much of what was said in the recent best seller called the Da Vinci Chronicles was lifted from the Masons, e.g., Mary Magdalene was Jesus's wife and that they did have a baby.

    For this and many other reasons, the Masons strongly oppose the Catholic Church. Indeed, the whole "Freedom of Worship" concept in our consititution came from the Masons because having got rid of a King, the last thing they wanted was a Pope. This explains why all the signers were Masons, and why every President, except JFK, was a Mason.

    It started out as a secret society because the Catholic Church did everything it could to hunt them down and kill them all. Today, it has pretty much evolved into a "Greatest Generation" social club. I don't know if they overtly discriminate against people of color. I have never known a Black mason. Plus, most Hispanics are Catholics, so that counts them out.

    Due to my Dad's former standing, I'm told that I can join. I haven't done so because I'm not much of a joiner. I'd rather drive my car!

    Dr "Free Thinker" Tax
     
  17. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    was with them briefly, but found it to be another boring group of people who just wanted to be part of a club.

    by "with them", i just mean i attended some meetings, back in the early 90's. it's not a secret society, just turn up at a freemason hall and you'll be welcomed.

    perhaps there's more to it, stretching through to their apparent ancestors, the rosicrucians, but apart from folklore and stories about how great they WERE, nothing interesting happened to keep hold of my brief attention span.

    it wasn't exactly like being initiated into the illuminati.
     
  18. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    I didn't know much about their open mindedness with religion. Hmm, maybe I am suited for them. :) Seems like many of the founders of our country who were Masons were also Unitarians, which I know I am. Interesting.

    Running low on funds, the beautiful lodge in my hometown started opening itself up to the community to raise money. Not much motivation to remain secret anymore.

    Anyone know anything about Kwanis(sp?)? I think they're a more open charitable community group.
     
  19. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
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    George Washington was one and he took the oath of office wearing some mason medals. He also lade the keystone of the Capitol in a Mason ceremony.



    DrS
     
  20. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    i'm pretty sure every president except Lincoln was a Free Mason... Can anyone confirm or correct that...?
     
  21. BWS550

    BWS550 Wants to be a mod

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    I THINK IDDI AMIN WAS ONE
     
  22. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    ROTFLMAO...! Edie Amin was NOT a Mason...!
     
  23. Johnny Bravo

    Johnny Bravo Formula Junior

    Jul 22, 2003
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    I'm not a Mason, but an uncle of mine has been for many years. I have been looking into it a lot over the past year or so as there is a lot of history involved which I find fascinating (I'm kindof a history buff). There are two forums which I visit occasionally which have some exceptionally friendly, positive, and intelligent members from all religions & walks of life:

    http://pub161.ezboard.com/bmasonicdiscussionatthelodgeroom
    http://pub99.ezboard.com/bmomministryofmasons

    I think for the most part that most of the negative anti-Mason info out there comes from people that just don't understand or care to understand what the Masons are all about. I guess that's how the reputation of it being a "secret" group got started, but most of the folks I have talked to who are Masons are typically more than happy to talk about their involvement & whatnot. I guess it's not for everybody, but it's surprising how many famous politicians & celebrities were members. I found a website not long ago that had a sizeable list of famous Masons, but I can't find it at the moment. A relatively good site with good general info about Masonry is: http://www.masonicfax.com/
     
  24. Tennlee

    Tennlee Formula Junior

    Feb 10, 2002
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    Well... I'm a mason, and not old yet, at least not by the average age of the lodge. Its true that the secrets are on the internet, but 99% of whats out there is just hysterical nonsense. Its a frat of men with a stated goal of philanthropy, and an unstated goal of just hanging around for the next chili supper ;). Our lodge builds habitat for humanity houses in the local community and raises money for college sholarships for local kids. The worst part of masonry in my opinion is its as segregated as church. When enough old people leave, I think it will integrate, at least I hope it will. BTW, I think people have heard just enough about it that it makes good hollywood fodder for the badguys in movies, especially if its supposed to be organized bad guys.

    Oh... and many presidents, but certainly not all were freemasons. Yes on George Washington, no on Bill Clinton. Davy Crockett, Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, Gene Autry, Harry Houdini, Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Dole all were/are.
     
  25. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

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    Lots of interesting stuff here

    freemasonrywatch.org
     
  26. rcallahan

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    If it were the Free Masons that were in the movie "Eyes Wide Shut", then I want in :)
     
  27. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

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    LMAO...:) seriously, I want into that club as well.
     
  28. Glassman

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    Ya right, so I guess its the same for witches too.
     

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