Freemasons

Quo_vadis

Swinger
I think, in the past, there were almost certainly some dodgy goings-on surrounding Freemasonry. Today, I think it is just a harmless boys' club. It's easy to see why military types might be attracted to it: The strict hierarchy, the ceremony, the dressing up etc. Personally I'm glad to have left all that behind.
 
On Holocaust Memorial Day let us remember all those that suffered under that regime, including the many Freemasons that were labelled with the red triangle and sent to the concentration camps under the Nazis.

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On Holocaust Memorial Day let us remember all those that suffered under that regime, including the many Freemasons that were labelled with the red triangle and sent to the concentration camps under the Nazis.

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At 13.30 hrs today, In a Hampshire hospital, our 8th grandchild was born, a little girl. To a Jewish father, my son, and a protestant mother, A Sargent in the women's royal Air force... L'chaim.....mazel tov.
 
In a Theatre Production called Holmes And The Ripper, there was a conspiracy theory that The Masons were behind a cover up of the true identity of Jack The Ripper. The Whitchapel murders were designed to remove the witness to the marriage of Queen Victoria's nephew to an East End prostitute who he had got in the family way.

The opening scene of the Theatre Production was Sir William Gull, Grand Master of the Lodge and Medical Physician to Queen Victoria was a bit heavy. I quote :

And so, brethren, it came to pass, that the Apprentices, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, having brutally murdered The Grand Master Haram Abiff, took flight.

They sought to hide from the authorities of the day, and in this they were successful, but they could not hide from their diligent brethren and were soon discovered and taken by the shore at Joppa, and there vengeance was exacted.

Their throats were cut, their breasts ripped open, their hearts and vitals taken out and thrown away to wither to dust, and to be dispersed by the four winds over land and sea.

Thus the spilling of blood was avenged by the spilling of blood, uniting in the act, Fidelity, Fidelity, Fidelity!


The message being, that anyone who betrays another member of the Lodge is in deep s@#t.

Dont know if there is any truth in that, but it sounded plausible.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
In a Theatre Production called Holmes And The Ripper, there was a conspiracy theory that The Masons were behind a cover up of the true identity of Jack The Ripper. The Whitchapel murders were designed to remove the witness to the marriage of Queen Victoria's nephew to an East End prostitute who he had got in the family way.

The opening scene of the Theatre Production was Sir William Gull, Grand Master of the Lodge and Medical Physician to Queen Victoria was a bit heavy. I quote :

And so, brethren, it came to pass, that the Apprentices, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, having brutally murdered The Grand Master Haram Abiff, took flight.

They sought to hide from the authorities of the day, and in this they were successful, but they could not hide from their diligent brethren and were soon discovered and taken by the shore at Joppa, and there vengeance was exacted.

Their throats were cut, their breasts ripped open, their hearts and vitals taken out and thrown away to wither to dust, and to be dispersed by the four winds over land and sea.

Thus the spilling of blood was avenged by the spilling of blood, uniting in the act, Fidelity, Fidelity, Fidelity!


The message being, that anyone who betrays another member of the Lodge is in deep s@#t.

Dont know if there is any truth in that, but it sounded plausible.
Historically there appears to be no mention of this story in ay publication prior to the 1970's. It was then prolific after the comic book "In Hell "was published I dont know when that was but of course other tv and film folks produced skits on it. I would be chuffed to NAFFI breaks if someone could produce this story from 1888 by the way .
Just as an aside George Lusk is mostly portrayed as a rabble rouser and agent provocateur against the CID.
In real life he was a Freemason, the deacon of his local church also a pillar of his community who was concearned about the murders and the effects that they would have on his community.

However I bet if this story was ever proven to be true our membership would dramatically multiply .
but hey ho .
 
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The English and international press finally found a reason to publish positive articles about Freemasonry this week, but I suspect few Masons will find cause for celebration. Societal attitudes and a rapidly shifting legal landscape in Western countries over the last few years have thrust the overwhelmingly male-only Masonic fraternity into a potential cultural and litigious minefield. In the wake of increased legal protections for those who alter their gender, our 300 year old institution is being forced reluctantly into the spotlight.

On July 17th, the United Grand Lodge of England unveiled its official policy concerning Freemasons under their jurisdiction and the thorny topic of gender reassignment, i.e. transgenderism. In the last three days, articles began appearing in the press:

Huffington Post - Freemasons To Allow Women Members - If They Joined As Men
The Guardian - "Freemasons to admit women – but only if they first joined as men"
New York Times - "English Freemasons Open the Door to Transgender Members"
BBC - "Freemasons To Accept Transgender Women"

There are many, many more, all saying essentially the same thing.


So what set this off?

UGLE Mason Edward Lord has been overseeing a gender identity drive as part of his role as chair of the City of London’s establishment committee. Lord identifies as non-binary and asks to be described by the pronoun "they.” His London committee was investigating ending sex segregation in women-only spaces like public bathrooms, dressing rooms, and locker rooms at well-known public landmarks. But in the midst of contentious online discussions over the matter it was revealed that Edward Lord is a Freemason, and his participation in the world's oldest and best known male fraternal group suddenly turned into a noisy public row. (See The Telegraph - "Gender equality campaigner defends Freemason membership".) He was branded as a hypocrite.

This has come to the forefront now because earlier this year the UGLE sought legal advice to establish its new official policy regarding gender. Their policy was actually announced about three months ago, but it was not yet formalized. The new policy and guidance was just released to their 7,000 constituent lodges on July 17th, so the press is only now just picking up the story.
According to several news sources, the UGLE is protected under English and European Union laws from legal accusations of gender discrimination because of Freemasonry's longstanding male-only admissions criteria. They are recognized in England and Wales under the law as a single-sex association.


The problem arose, however, when existing UGLE Masons chose to undergo gender reassignment, which is when English law kicked in. The UGLE's male-only status does not protect them from accusations of discrimination against current members. According to the Huffington Post article, under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 a man who has joined the Freemasons cannot be excluded after transitioning because gender reassignment is a protected right under the law.

Highlights of the new gender policy include:

A candidate for admission to Freemasonry under the jurisdiction of UGLE must be a man.

Should a person who has undergone gender reassignment and has become a man apply to become a Freemason then his application must be processed in the same way as for any other male candidate.

A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason.

A Freemason who becomes a woman is not required to resign from the Craft.
If a person resigns from the Craft then they and their dependants might no longer be eligible for some of the benefits provided by the Masonic charities now or in the future.

A Lodge may vote to exclude any member for sufficient cause. The following grounds would constitute unlawful discrimination and so could never constitute sufficient cause:

The fact that a member has legally become a woman;
A mistaken belief that a member has legally become a woman;
The fact that a member is in the process of transition from male to female; or
A mistaken belief that a member is in the process of transitioning from male to female.
Similarly a Lodge must not attempt to persuade a member to resign from the Lodge or discriminate against a member based on any of these grounds. A Lodge must not at any time require a member to prove that they are legally a man.

Female members should still be greeted with the prefix “brother”. Alternatives to the formal suit and tie have been allowed, including a “smart dark skirt and top.”


The question now is how will the rest of the Masonic world react to UGLE's policy. For those readers who are NOT Freemasons, UGLE is sovereign only amongst its chartered lodges. There is no worldwide governing body for the fraternity, and UGLE is just one of hundreds of jurisdictions. So saying "The Freemasons Have Changed Their Policy" applies only in English chartered lodges.

To my knowledge, I believe there is only one single U.S. grand lodge that has spelled out in its rules that a petitioner promises he is a naturally born man and will remain so (or words to that effect). I do know it was a hot topic two years ago at the COGMMNA and that other jurisdictions were considering adding such wording to their petitions. How many have actually done so is currently unknown.

Certainly there will be U.S., African and Asian grand lodges that will agitate for yanking recognition of England now. There's no way to argue that their policy doesn't transgress the obligation most commonly sworn by Master Masons the world over. Admitting women into the fraternity under any circumstances will be widely seen as a violation of the ancient landmarks, even if it is England doing it. UGLE's historical status as the premiere grand lodge won't shield them in this situation, even if they insist that they are only following the law of their country. In reality, UGLE was between a rock and a hard place.

From a purely pragmatic and crassly economic standpoint, resignations by angry existing members as a result of this change will no doubt far outnumber any initiations by trans-men and sympathetic-minded new petitioners. And there is a massive undercounted number of conservative and religious objectors who will doubtless become quite vocal as this proceeds. The arrival of a Brother in “smart dark skirt and top” at the Tyler's door in the U.S. will probably not go well. Bear in mind that all regulations are still in place regarding anonymous 'ball and cube' voting for candidates, and objections to visitors.

On the other hand, many younger Freemasons have expressed the opinion online that this is merely a natural progression of society. In my own informal look at online discussions over the last few days I have noticed the sentiment that trans-men (women who have become men) are far more likely to be accepted and welcomed as Masons than existing male members who have become trans-women. It appears that even the most open-minded and sympathetic Masons almost completely draw the line at permitting trans-women to remain in the fraternity, since the admission of women is vastly regarded as irregular, regardless of how the degrees were conferred originally. However, whether this sentiment translates into votes within grand lodges around the world when it comes time to alter rules in each jurisdiction is a very different question.

And then, of course, there is the law which must either be complied with, or fought out in the courts and the halls of governments.

Voluntary associations are a tricky business these days when they clash with "social justice warriors" and government bureaucracies. Laws passed to stamp out "discrimination" can often lead to the death of an organization when forced to give up its longstanding foundational precepts. Moreover, laws can't force people to accept or socialize with others they don't like, don't agree with, or feel uncomfortable around, no matter how pure-hearted the intent.

Regardless of what occurs going forward, UGLE has thrown down the gauntlet now. I suspect phones are ringing and heads are exploding in grand lodge offices all over the globe.
 
I think, in the past, there were almost certainly some dodgy goings-on surrounding Freemasonry. Today, I think it is just a harmless boys' club. It's easy to see why military types might be attracted to it: The strict hierarchy, the ceremony, the dressing up etc. Personally I'm glad to have left all that behind.
This was one of the reasons I got involved. I enjoyed the ritual and drama but I found that like the Army those who thought themselves very important made it less enjoyable. In the end I stopped having fun so left. It’s more than two years and I don’t miss it.
 
Having known about this since the news was first released I have been to a number of lodge meetings and met up with masons outside of lodge and not one of the people I've met has mentioned one word about it. It's almost as if no one is really bothered.

To be honest I'd say the number of people this is likely to affect will be miniscule. Let's look at the numbers - in England and Wales there are approximately 250,000 members of UGLE. The majority of freemasons tend to be of more mature years. I'd be surprised if there's more than a handful of freemasons that want their soft bits rearranged. The women's orders in this country have the same rules.

One has to remember that individual lodges are private members clubs and can pick and choose who they allow to join. So even if the changed constitution allows for trans people to join it doesn't necessarily follow that an individual lodge will approve that person to become a joining member of the lodge but it also doesn't mean they will be rejected because of it.

Society's attitude in general has shifted over recent years, particularly amongst the younger generation, and if freemasonry wants to survive going forward it needs to attract and welcome the younger generation. UGLE has recognised this and is probably in the forefront of changing attitudes. In times past freemasons tended to be amongst the more enlightened and the landmarks of the order will always adapt to the changing times.
 
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of W.Bro John Coward. He suffered a suspected heart attack and was found today. W.Bro John was my Proposer (as he was to many) and was a Member of a large number of Lodges, including some overseas.

May You Rest In The Eternal East.
 
Having known about this since the news was first released I have been to a number of lodge meetings and met up with masons outside of lodge and not one of the people I've met has mentioned one word about it. It's almost as if no one is really bothered.

To be honest I'd say the number of people this is likely to affect will be miniscule. Let's look at the numbers - in England and Wales there are approximately 250,000 members of UGLE. The majority of freemasons tend to be of more mature years. I'd be surprised if there's more than a handful of freemasons that want their soft bits rearranged. The women's orders in this country have the same rules.

One has to remember that individual lodges are private members clubs and can pick and choose who they allow to join. So even if the changed constitution allows for trans people to join it doesn't necessarily follow that an individual lodge will approve that person to become a joining member of the lodge but it also doesn't mean they will be rejected because of it.

Society's attitude in general has shifted over recent years, particularly amongst the younger generation, and if freemasonry wants to survive going forward it needs to attract and welcome the younger generation. UGLE has recognised this and is probably in the forefront of changing attitudes. In times past freemasons tended to be amongst the more enlightened and the landmarks of the order will always adapt to the changing times.
Quite, that article's the best part of half a year old and AFAICT the world is still turning. As one of the younger bunch, at 39, all I can say is that both my eyelids have remained resolutely unbatted.
 

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