Friday, 8 June 2012

Bloody Masons!

Time and time again, I find people linking the Masons with all sorts of curious conspiracy theories. Bildebergers, Illuminati, New World Order, Knights Templar, Dan Brown, all sorts of utterly preposterous things.

I know a couple of Masons. Not many, but a few. They are all generous, kind, unassuming people. Apart from one, who is a wastrel drunkard, but he's still generous and kind. They don't seem to be doing glamorous jobs. They worry about retrenchment and losing their jobs. They don't seem to do any better than anyone else. They die. They contribute regularly and generously to charity.

Masonry also sounds monumentally dull to me, people dressing up in funny clothes and going through endless tiresome rituals, combined with all the excitement of a committee meeting.

I struggle to associate these nice people with the shadowy machinations of legend. I realise it's a small sample, but they all seem to be entirely upright, moral, good people. I'm no expert, but I've been told that the Masonic code or whatever it's called specifically bans using Masonry for personal advantage.

Now, I'm sure that there are some Masons who don't adhere to that part of the code, but really, is a better, simpler explanation for this not that such people will use all sorts of networks for personal advancement, if they're that way inclined. Whether it's the Fabian Society, Conservative Youth, the Masons or whatever, there will always be most of the people there for the stated goal of the grouping and some people there who want to meet people that they can connect with and exploit (for want of a better word).

I think there is a much better reason why coppers and judges seem to get by on a nod and a wink than Masonry, for instance: they're always bumping into each other in their day job and in the court canteen or the local pub.

I realise it's a largely futile ask, but I'm going to do it anyway: can we stop blaming organisations, whether charitable, left-wing, right-wing or whatever, for the behaviour of a handful of their members?

Can we rather start looking at placing accountability where it belongs: with the people who do things wrong?


Richard said...

You have it about right, I think. I was a Mason for almost 20 years, master of my lodge in two different orders, and rose to the 30th degree. Two things you say are correct in my experience: one, that it is monumentally dull, and two that Masons are generally decent people who do a lot for charity. Using Masonic membership for personal advancement is specifically prohibited, as is trawling for new members. I never once saw or heard of anyone doing anything underhand or wrong with their Masonic membership - perhaps favouring fellow Masons when you needed a plumber, but nothing more heinous than goes on in any social organisation such as a golf club. I believe it is fundamentally benign (I wouldn't have continued as a member otherwise) and the rituals are historically interesting, but each lodge is essentially a tedious committee meeting with a bit of drama in the middle.

I got very disillusioned at the 'brotherhood' aspect of it when went through some difficult times (wife critically ill) and received no support of any kind from my lodge - not even a phone call. Add to that the life-sapping boredom of the 'point of order' brigade and the slavish adherence to supposed rank and superiority, and I decided to call it a day. I'm still a Mason, I suppose, but I haven't attended Lodge in years and don't miss it. However, I still believe that Masonry is essentially a benign influence, and dullness and small-mindedness are probably the worst accusations you can throw at it. I saw no evidence of any conspiracy of any kind.

That's my honest view.

Anonymous said...

So you're a mason then. Thanks for clearing that up.

Bit dodgy if you ask me said...

If it's all kosher, why are so many powerful people Masons? Is it just coincidence that so many members of this harmless talking shop end up in positions of great power and autority, as Judges and Magistrates, PC's and Chief Inspectors, Prime Ministers and Presidents?

If it's all OK, why the need for such secrecy? Why the constant opposition to calls for members of this organisation that hold positions of power, such as Police Officers, Judges and Barristers to reveal their membership?

Anonymous said...

If there was anything evil behind the Masons they would not tell you. I think it is something to do with secrecy.

bamboo investments said...

I know a couple of people who are Masons. they are harmless, it really is like a social club that gives people a sense of "belonging", nothing more.