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The Masonic Order: What is a mason? Why all the secrecy?

Discussion in 'Other' started by KenBrace, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    My great grandfather was a mason. A master mason to be specific. He was really active in the order but at one point something happened that caused him to have some disagreements with the society. But once a mason, always a mason. So he couldn't actually leave the order. He just became inactive. He died back in 2000.

    Anyway I was recently discussing all of this with my grandfather (the eldest son of my great grandfather). He inherited his father's masonic ring after his death. That's what brought up the conversation.

    I've done a good bit of research and whatnot after that discussion but the information seems to be a bit vague and often contradicting. It is a secret society after all.

    My grandfather said that he once asked his father about the secrecy and stated that there must be some sort of death threat for revealing too much. My great grandfather replied that it was something along those lines. As a result my great grandfather never mentioned anything about the society. The above instance was as close as he ever got. He proudly advertised the fact that he was a mason but he never said any more than that. He stated "I'm a mason" and left it at that. If you questioned him further then he would simply ignore your question and change the subject.

    So what's up with all the secrecy?

    What is the Masonic Order trying to hide and why are they hiding it?

    Have you ever known anyone that is/was a mason?

    What do you know about this mysterious secret society?


    PS: Here's a photo of my great grandfather's masonic ring...

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Could it be Satan? :mad:
     
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  3. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    I don't want to venture too much into conspiracy theories, as it causes you to get labeled a racist, and I got banned from a forum cause of that, even though I am not even remotely. Anyhow, who is the Rothchild family? Do they have anything to do with the Masonic order?
     
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  4. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    I'm not sure about the Rothchild family. I know they are rich and powerful but I've never heard anything about them being involved with the Masonic Order.

    What makes you think they might be?
     
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  5. patriciakay Fish

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    There is a club here in the Greater Bay Area called the Bohemian Club. It is a semi-rustic camp for very wealthy and powerful men who want to behave like little boys who have no adults around. It is Super Duper Secret, or it used to be. Much like a boy's tree house with a "No Girls Allowed" sign, they just want their privacy and not conform to what is expected of them most of the time.

    My husband is a member of a fraternity founded by Masons. Think, "Animal House" of the National Lampoon fame. There was nothing more to it than a bunch of college goons who were really smart and played rugby.

    I think that the Masons are probably a version of this. They make up a quasi religion and create rituals and have an all boy's night. They might be more well-behaved than the two examples above, but I get the feeling they just want a place where they can hang out with the guys and let their rough edges show without their wives telling them what to do. They do some good deeds for the community and use the club to network, but I think that they mostly just want to relax.

    Remember the Shriners who drive silly cars and wear clown make up in parades are some of the highest ranking members of the Masons.
     
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  6. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    With the internet you don't really need fraternaties, treehouses to vent, and get away from your spouse.
     
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  7. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    I have a number of relatives (father, grandfather, nephew)--most of them deceased--who were Masons. It's been around for 2 or 3 hundred years. George Washington, and some other FF were Masons -- it's men only.

    Masons are one of numerous fraternal organizations. They are mostly involved in social gatherings and charitable work. How secret are they? The have arcane rituals which are the "secret part". The rituals are no more dangerous or significant than the rituals associated with graduation ceremonies, swearing in of public officials, awarding ribbons for the biggest hog at the fair, and so forth. Rituals are just intellectual busy work. In order to become a Mason, though, you do have to learn the arcane rituals and pass a test (it's not a written test; more like an oral and practical test). Masonic funerals are open to the public, and they are quasi Christian. Dignified. Secrecy is a useful tool to promote brotherhood within the group. "We're special. This is our club house, and not just anybody can come in here."

    In Minneapolis there is the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Home, which is a retirement facility and includes a skilled nursing care section. They have donated facilities of this sort all over. Shriners are part of freemasonry, and they have a special hospital here for orthopedic surgery for children.

    The Masonic Cancer Center, U of MN Medical complex
    ahc_content_430148.jpg

    The Masons are among the oldest of a whole bunch of fraternal organizations who provide social outlets and a structure for doing charitable work: Among them are Eagles, Lions, Odd Fellows, Shriners, Rotary International, Toastmasters, Moose, Sons of Norway, Hibernians, Sertoma, and so on. Lions devote time and money to vision (eyeballs), and Rotary has spearheaded the international effort to vaccinate against polio.

    Many of these groups (not Rotary, which is deeply rooted in the business community) are drying up as their members age and die off. Younger men used to join these groups, because it was a way of obtaining instant contacts when you traveled, or moved to a new city. That function is much less useful now than it was in the past. People (both sexes, all ages) just don't spent time that way any more, and this trend is ... maybe 50 years running. Young guys might find the service work of the Masons attractive, but if he joined a lodge and was the youngest person there by 40 years, he could see that there wasn't much of a future there. Unless, of course, he recruited other young men. I think it would be a hard sell.

    Toastmasters is a more practical group. Their specialty is public speaking. If you want to get better at speaking in public, Toastmasters is a good group to join.

    The Rothchilds are a very rich Jewish family who have been in business for a long time. I don't know what their connection is, if any, to the M
     
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  8. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Is the masonic lodge like inside Camelot on Monty Python and the Holy Grail ? :D

     
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  9. LindaM Molecule

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    My father was a free mason as they are called here. I remember him joking about what they did at their meetings but I was too young to understand or care about what they really got up to.

    When I got older I asked my mother if she knew what happened at their meetings and she said he would never say because it was strictly against their rules. What I don't understand is why, with human nature being what it is, no one has ever let the secret slip.
     
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  10. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    The term mason has a relation to brick or stone laying. How would be the origin of the term mason?
     
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  11. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    Not sure. Masonry (stone and brick work) has to do with building. So "free-building". Building what? Well, if I'm not mistaken one of the prime focuses of the freemasonry is to build the community. It's probably something along those lines.

    Here's an interesting article I found that was supposedly written by a mason...

    http://www.jjcrowder743.com/freemasonry.html#faq6
     
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  12. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French masson (noun), ma├žonner (verb), probably of Germanic origin; perhaps related to make.
     
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  13. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    I do know about the Shriner's. They seem quite secretive but do give a lot to St. Jude's hospital.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
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  14. KenBrace Bird Administrator

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    I've never heard of the Shriner's.

    Are they are small society or a large, international society like the masons?
     
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  15. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    Shriner_syrian_corvette.jpg

    I assume you don't attend small town parades, and that is why you have never heard of the Shriners. You should get out more! The picture is of a Shriner's mini car unit; it's for PR purposes.

    Shriners aren't "like Masons" they are Masons. Until recently, a man had to be a Scottish Rite or York Rite Mason to join the Shriners. Now they have to be a master Mason, any rite. Shriners chapters engage in fellowship and philanthropy. They operate a string of Children's Hospitals which usually specialize in pediatric orthopedic (bone) diseases. Their care used to be offered for free (paid for out of the endowment); in the last big recession, however, their endowment was hit hard, so they now take insurance payments and offer free care to those without insurance.

    Some of their facilities, like the Shriner's Childrens Hospital - Minneapolis, have been outclassed by much larger multi-specialty children's hospitals. The main problem of the Minneapolis unit (and others) is that they were organized at a time when there were no children's hospitals. There used to be several small operations for children, like Sister Kenny Institutes for polio and Shriners Hospitals for bone disease. Children with other diseases were treated in adult facilities, which could be pretty intimidating, and where staff were not necessarily skilled in treating children.
     
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  16. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Why do the shriners look like Ottomans? Maybe they're potential terrorists. :mad:
     
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  17. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    Of course the Shriners are terrorists. Whenever their hospitals need more business, one of the cars is blown up in the parade. Presto Chango -- healthy cash flow again.
     
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  18. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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  19. Selena Bacteria

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    My late husband was a 33 degree mason and a master of the lodge, also belonged to the Scottish rite and the knights Templar.

    No illuminati crap going on, just an organization of men who did a lot of good in then community...had a few secret ceremonies and handshakes....not earth shattering.
     
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  20. Working Buck Molecule

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    I do know some people who are part of the order, others are part of The Order of Demolay. And every time I ask some questions about the order, they tend to just smile and change the subject. I do know that they have this "If you want to be one, ask one" policy and I really want to get into that order but no one seems to entertain what I want to know. In my place, you won't be allowed to get into the order if you don't live well. Most members I know are either a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer.
     
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