British Freemasonry Sheds Crocodile Tears Over Alleged Discrimination Against Its Members

“How can members be discriminated against if we don't know who they are?”

Melanie Onn, Labour MP

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England

Freemasonry’s claim of accepting for membership “people of any race, faith, age, class or political persuasion,” is a contention contradicted by the historic racism of many of its more renowned members such as the avowed racist Cecil Rhodes — an English vicar’s asthmatic runt of a son sent to South Africa in 1870 at the age of sixteen to ease his lung congestion — who believed that Anglo-Saxons should exploit all those areas that were inhabited by “the most despicable specimens of human beings.”

In June 1877, while studying at Oxford, Rhodes wrote about his idea for expanding the British Empire and the following is an excerpt from that diatribe:

“At the present day I become a member of the Masonic order I see the wealth and power they possess the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end. The idea gleaming and dancing before one’s eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible . . . To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object.”

Not surprisingly, Rhodes — who in a large part of Africa spearheaded British colonialism with its exploitation and oppression of the indigenous populations — was the recipient of a letter from Theodor Herzl (the father of Zionism) in which Herzl stated: "You are being invited to help make history . . . It doesn't involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen but Jews . . . How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial . . . You, Mr Rhodes, are a visionary politician or a practical visionary . . . I want you to put the stamp of your authority on the Zionist plan and to make the following declaration to a few people who swear by you; I, Rhodes have examined this plan and found it correct and practicable. It is a plan full of culture, excellent for the group of people for whom it is directly designed, and quite good for England, for Greater Britain . . . ”

On his way to becoming the richest man in the world on the back of cheap Black labour, Rhodes had supported the notorious Masters and Servants Act which was facetiously nicknamed the “Every Man to Wallop his Own Nigger Bill.” Rhodes, financed by bankers N. M. Rothschild & Sons, then proceeded to purchase and amalgamate diamond mines into the De Beers company whose ownership was subsequently wrested in 1927 by Ernest Oppenheimer who went on to found the Anglo American Corporation in South Africa and thereby consolidate monopoly over the world’s diamond industry.

When Oppenheimer converted from Judaism to Anglicanism in the late 1930s, some cynical observers had suggested — perhaps with some justification — that the conversion was intended to remove a possible obstacle to the continued sale of industrial diamonds to Hitler’s Germany. His involvement in other controversies included price fixing, antitrust behaviour, and an accusation of not releasing industrial diamonds for the U.S. war effort.

The current British Masonic claim that members are being discriminated against with a letter being written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, appears to be both a reaction to press reports that two Freemason’s lodges are operating secretly at Westminster, and another attempt to avoid transparency, to muzzle the press, and to prevent freedom of expression with censorship imposed by either “political correctness,” or legislation criminalising activist criticism such as that directed against Israel’s blatant crimes against humanity.

Freemasons’ Hall in London’s Covent Garden doubles as headquarters for the United Grand Lodge of England and as a venue for London area Masonic Lodge meetings. Built in Art Deco style between 1927 and 1933 as a memorial to the 3,225 Freemasons who died during active service in the First World War, it was initially named as the Masonic Peace Memorial, but was subsequently renamed Freemasons’ Hall following the outbreak of the Second World War.

Masonic wishful thinking includes the claim that the reason the building escaped damage during the Blitz — sustained German bombing from September 1940 to May 1941 — was because many of the German Luftwaffe pilots were themselves Freemasons. This would appear to contradict the fact that the Nazis believed that high-degree Freemasons were not only willing members of “the Jewish conspiracy” but were also partly responsible for Germany’s defeat in the First World War. Estimates of the number of Freemasons killed in Nazi occupied countries varied between 80,000 and 200,000.

Masonic lore also suggests that Masonic origins date back to the time of the legendary Hiram Abiff, — also known as “the Widow's Son” — who as an architect and master artificer is an allegorical character prominently figuring in a play that is enacted during initiation ceremonies into the Third Degree of Freemasonry. Abiff, had been sent by King Hiram of Tyre (present-day Lebanon) to build King Solomon’s Temple. Though the name Hiram Abiff does not appear in the in scriptures, the Masonic account of Hiram is often said to be based upon the Holy Bible. In the Master Mason Degree portion of the ritual known as the Legend of the Third Degree, the storyline has three central characters associated with the building of Solomon’s temple. These characters — King Solomon, King Hiram of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff — are all taken from the Scriptural account of the temple building.

“King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was a man of Tyre and a craftsman in bronze. Huram was highly skilled and experienced in all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.”

1 Kings 7:13-14

According to the Masonic version of the legend, Abiff was murdered while visiting the temple by three dissatisfied and envious Fellow Crafts whom Abiff had refused to raise to the level of Master by divulging the Master Mason’s secret password. The re-enactment of Abiff’s murder by Candidates wishing to become Master Masons is an important part of their initiation ceremony which is followed by an explanation that the story is a lesson in fidelity to one's word, and in the brevity of life.

The tale starts with his arrival in Jerusalem, and his appointment by Solomon as chief architect and master of works at the construction of his temple. As the temple is nearing completion, three fellow Craft masons from the workforce ambush him and demand the secrets of a Master Mason. Hiram is challenged by each in turn, and at each refusal to divulge the information his assailant strikes him with a mason's tool. He is injured by the first two assailants, and struck dead by the third. His murderers hide his body under a pile of rubble, returning at night to move the body outside the city, where they bury it in a shallow grave marked with a sprig of acacia on a hill west of Mt. Moriah (Temple Mount).

As the Master is missed the next day, Solomon sends out a group of Fellow Craft Masons to search for him. Abiff’s body is accidentally discovered and exhumed to be given an appropriate burial. The three assassins are eventually located and brought to justice. Solomon informs the workforce that the secrets of a master mason have been lost and he replaces them with new ones based on gestures given and words spoken upon the discovery of Hiram's body.

The Hiram Abiff tale used in Freemasonry, however, is only part of the original legend which involves the Queen of Sheba. This is because Freemasonry — like most secret societies and religions — has an inherent tendency to relegate the importance of the female role.

While it is generally accepted that masons and smiths first became recognised as craftsmen some time prior to 3,500 BCE, there can be no certainty as to either the date they first became organised associations, or the precise origin of the Legend of the Temple. It is, however, evident that the initial development of trade associations was at its peak during the time of the Roman Empire when the Collegia — as they were called — consisted of the following basic groups:

A. Religious bodies such as the Colleges of Priests and Vestal Virgins.

B. Civil service associations for those in administrative positions.

C. Corporations for workers in metals or other hard materials.

D. Associations known as Sodalitates which started out as friendly leagues for social gatherings and feasting, but finished up being political associations against whom the Senate was often obliged to take action.

By the time of Theodosius I who was Emperor until 395 AD, virtually every city and important town had associations that were similar to those in Rome, whereby the workers were either voluntarily or by compulsion obliged to belong to some trade or occupation for the benefit of their community. Proof of this can be found in the works of many ancient writers including Pliny the Younger (61-c. 112) who as pro-consul of Asia Minor, wrote to the Emperor Trajan informing him of a most destructive fire at Nicomedia (ancient city in present-day Turkey) and requesting permission to establish a collegium fabrorum for the rebuilding of the city.

Apart from membership in the Collegia, many workers would also have belonged to some kind of religion wherein their initiation would invariably have been based either on the allegorical killing of a deity or great man who subsequently resurrects, or on the wanderings of a person in great distress over the loss of a loved one. It was therefore only natural for trade associations to have initiation rituals that were compatible with the religion of its members.

The widespread nature of the Roman Empire also meant that Collegia were already established in many countries where even after the collapse of the Empire the concept was retained and served as the basis from which there evolved trade associations whose features and functions were mostly dictated by local circumstances and requirements.

Scarcely had had the Teutonic hordes obtained the mastery over the decaying Roman Empire, and the wandering tribes became fixed in their newly acquired territories, then the work began.

Robert F. Gould, Gould’s History of Freemasonry Throughout the World (6 volumes), Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936.

In France for example, as magnificent structures began to be raised, a system of apprenticeship was in due course established whereby an apprentice was assigned to a master for a period of usually seven years after which he became a journeyman traveling around the country to gain experience on various building projects under different masters. In order to assist the journeyman with accommodation and companionship while he was on this “tour de France,” the Compagnonnage was instituted with three main divisions for the different trades which had initiation rites connected to Solomon’s Temple.

One version names Maitres Jacques and Soubise as associate master masons who after completion of the temple returned to Gaul with the vow never to part. Inevitably, however, in keeping with the mandatory storyline, the violent-natured Soubise becomes jealous of Jacques and breaks away to form his own group of disciples who are eventually instrumental in the treachery that leads to his rival’s murder. The traitor who betrayed Jacques to the killers by giving him the kiss of peace while he was at his usual place for morning prayers — like Judas Iscariot — later committed suicide.

Robert F. Gould also noted that the development of European trade associations such as the Steimetzen (stonemasons) started when:

Devout men from the British Isles, chiefly from Ireland, crossed over to the mainland, and penetrating into the depths of the German forests, carried the pure doctrines of primitive Christianity to the German Tribes. Wherever they came, they raised churches and dwellings for their priests, cleared the forests, tilled the soil, and instructed the heathen in the first principles of civilisation . . . Then came Charlemagne and taught the German tribes to build cities and palaces (Aix-la-Chapelle, Ingelsheim). Each seat soon became the seat of a Roman Bishop; hence arose the cathedrals; and in many other cases the bishop’s seat gave rise to the town. Later on the cities prospered and grew rich, and the necessity for sumptuous town halls arose, and thus by degrees the face of the land became dotted with those monuments of architectural skill, the very ruins of which testify to the cunning of the builders. And who were these builders? What manner of men were they? Whence came they? They were the Steinmetzen. They were a class of simple workmen, bound together by strong ties of brotherhood, but containing in their midst master builders whose minds were stored with all the mathematical knowledge of those days, and who contentedly worked for a lifetime at an edifice, satisfied to know that although they might never see its completion, their successors would carry on the work to a glorious conclusion, and raise one more temple to the worship of the Most High.”

As most of these building workers were invariably itinerant with three basic levels of skill acquired over seven years of apprenticeship — as apprentices, journeymen, and master masons — a system of secret recognition signs and words was devised for each level to which they were made privy as they progressed from apprentice to master. So as they moved from one building project to another, their new employers could identify the degree of their skills from those secret signs and words.

During the Renaissance (14th-17th century) stonemason guilds began to admit members who were not stonemasons but were attracted by either the fraternal and social aspects or the potential for covert chicanery which could be conducted within the secretive nature of such organisations. And so it was from the observance of stonemason traditions without any actual involvement in construction projects that the secret society of Freemasons evolved. So irrespective of how well intentioned the fraternal objectives of Freemasonry may have been, its secretive environment provided the perfect cover for men with agendas that were far from fraternal.

So while chief executive Dr David Staples can endeavour to present a “nothing to hide” picture of Masonic innocence and point out that Freemasonry raised more than £33m for good causes last year, there can be no denying that the secretive nature of Freemasonry is open to exploitation as was for example the case in Italy when tax police in March 1981 raided a property on the outskirts of Arezzo and uncovered a list of 962 people who were part of a secret masonic lodge known as Propaganda Due or P2 whose objective was to destabilise Italy’s democratic order, if deemed necessary, to protect the country from communist rule.

The property belonged to Licio Gelli, the Grandmaster of the organisation which virtually amounted to a parallel state, and was implicated directly or indirectly in most of the scandals, plots and acts of terrorism that marked the country's dark decades of the 1970s and ‘80s including an attempted 1970 coup; the kidnap and assassination of prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978; the Sindona and Banco Ambrosiano financial scandals with their links to the Mafia and the Vatican; the 1980 Bologna station bombing and other murders and acts of violence; and the murder of Roberto Calvi — Chairman of the Banco Anbrosiano and known as “God's Banker” — whose body was found hanging from the scaffolding beneath London’s Blackfriar’s Bridge. Another infamous member of P2 was Silvio Berlusconi, the very shady “bunga bunga” partying former Prime minister of Italy.

And if you are wondering how dangerous clowns like Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump became leaders of so-called democracies, then you must first recognise that the concept of democracy can only become a reality through citizen participation, equality without exception, political tolerance, accountability, transparency, a multi party system, regular free and fair elections, acceptance of election results, the rule of law, economic freedom, control of the abuse of power, a Bill of Rights, and human rights including freedom of expression.

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