Monday, August 22, 2011

The Rituals are Published

The secret rituals are really not a secret. They have been published. "The Secrets of Freemasonry" by William Morgan has it all right there in black and white. I got a free version for my Kindle. At this point, I see it listed for $4.99. If you're really curious, you might want to read them. You can probably find it in a well stocked public library.

The rituals, themselves, are archaic. They all center around the mythology surrounding the building of Solomon's temple and the secret code words of the stonemasons who worked on it. I suppose, done well, they could create a transformative experience for the initiate. Done poorly, I would think they appear as ridiculous as they sound. A lot of it reminds me of what I know of fraternity hazing; blindfolding, being led about by a rope, threatened and roughed up.

There is a lot of talk of "enlightenment" after receiving the initiations. The candidate is required to memorize a "lecture" which amounts to repeating the facts of the ritual when questioned. What he learned is how to repeat the ritual for other candidates.

The oaths required of an initiate are startling. The man swears to accept the penalty of death, in quite grizzly detail, if he reveals the secrets. The master mason's oath is the most upsetting to me, as a woman.

He swears, "...that I will never be at the initiating of an old man in his dotage, a young man in his nonage, an atheist*, irreliqious libertine, idiot, madman, hermaphrodite nor woman."

You see in what high esteem we are held.

After reading all this material, I have to agree with the Masons. They are not a religion, they are a cult.

* All Masons are required to believe in a "Supreme Being". (Pick a God, any one will do.) That "G" in the middle of the square and compass is God or Geometry (also divine). They refer to God as the "Grand Architect." And they do pray to Him. Despite the disclaimer that they are nondenominational, most of the ritual is Judeo-Christian and makes liberal reference to the Bible.

Two Down, One to Go

His reign over one York Rite body ended in April 2011. The next one begins in 2013.

I learned, much to my horror, that bowing out as the "first lady" does nothing to slow this juggernaut. I doubt the men even notice as other women step in and fill the gap. (Why they do this is beyond me.) It makes me sad that the work falls on them and angry that I cannot even make a protest by my absence.

In three days, he flies across the country for a national gathering. Another week apart and $1000+ out the window.