The Legality Of Secret Societies History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
In these last centuries Secret Societies have attracted researchers to the field of criminology, religion and sociology with Siegel, Simmel and Barruel amongst others lifting out of the many cavities, corruption, illegal activities and even injustices against people, the legal system and even the Catholic Church. Investigations have centered amongst politicians, governments and the legal system using secondary data, historical data from books and literature searches. Past and present members of the many societies such as Albert Pike, Manly P. Hall and President Gerald Ford along with authors such as Greer, Piatigorsky and Blanchard have written many books and articles about Secret Societies. Various articles have been written about these elusive societies, societies dating back as early as the 12th century with the Knights Templars. This dissertation will focus on the research of various secret societies from Freemasonry to P2 and the Mafia. This was done in order to address the research question of my dissertation. Are Secret Societies criminal?
Amongst the Secret Societies one finds Freemasonry, P2 Lodge also known as Propaganda Due, the Mafia, the Bilderberg Group, Bavarian Illuminati, Ku Klux Klan, Opus Dei, Knights Templar, the Thule Society, Priory of Sion and the list goes on. Many societies such as Freemasonry, up to this present day, are the largest and most influential, with more than one lodge in almost every country around the world (Greer, 2006). Secret societies are organizations promoting causes by way of secret methods. All members are sworn in by secret oaths and rituals. Secret Societies or Societies with Secrets have always been looked down upon with suspicion and curiosity.
In the eighteenth century between 1750 and 1789, Europe had the largest number of Secret Sects and Societies. There were three trends that Secret Societies benefited from. The first was “The Enlightenment”, a philosophical movement (Locke, Montesquieu and Voltaire) advocating human reasoning over obedience while strengthening the reasons for “Scientific” thinking. The second trend was “Enlightened Despotism” where society of every rank and status felt their values were threatened by the state. Freemasonry therefore seemed very appealing as it taught ways of conveying ancient wisdom and virtue. The third trend was the growth against the reasoning of “Rationalism and Enlightenment” as well as the fascination for nature’s secrets which brings about a mystical, magical and even occult exaltation (Roberts, 1972).
As this dissertation is about secret societies, the researcher would first like to discuss the term “secret societies” before continuing with the classification of secret societes for the purpose of developing the discussion in this dissertation. Secrecy is defined as an exclusion of reciprocal knowledge by members of associations and the concealment is premeditated. As having full knowledge of any information is trusting, the complete absence means distrust. It is very natural for us to understand that what is forbidden is permitted and for what is not permitted is forbidden. Secrecy is one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity as the purposeful concealment and aggression against the other party is most effective with negative and positive outcomes. There will always be a small ratio of secrecy between individuals and groups (Simmel 1906). Today anything “secret” is termed “illegal” or “criminal”. Secrecy in the past was used in times of trouble, for underground support of political or religious causes and mostly, wars. The emptiness in people’s lives has lead people to a “second life” where scientific rationality is untouchable. Today any person disclosing secrets are considered “a good citizen” as in the past was seen as betrayal (Siegel, 2011).
Within their fraternity, Freemasons value secrets because it symbolizes fidelity and advancement. There is an ethic of reputation and promise keeping. Secrecy was considered a sophisticated system that was based on mystery, mutual trust and reputation whilst implementing the idea of “Enlightenment’ and “Moral Uplift”. In Lodges secrecy was important as one could speak about anything from politics, to religion to philosophy without the fear of being persecuted by the state or church (Gunn, 2008).
Safeguarding of Information is encoded in “The Official Secret Act of 1989” of the United Kingdom. In Chapter 8, Section 6, the law states that if a person is in possession of any document for the purpose of obtaining access to any information, document and article, if he should disclose any official information without lawful authority, he would be guilty of an offence and be prosecuted in a Criminal Court. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk on the 5th August 2012.
Malta has an Official Secrets Act which was enacted for the purpose of protecting official secrets. Chapter 50 of the ‘Official Secret Act’ prohibits spying, unauthorized use of uniforms, falsification of reports, impersonation and false documents. Any Communication with or any attempt to communicate with a foreign agent for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or the interests of the State and information passed on to any enemy is deemed criminal, such as endangering Malta’s defense policy, military planning, police and Armed Forces of Malta. Information resulting from unauthorized disclosures or entrusted in confidence to other states or International Organizations are deemed unlawful. Retrieved from http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt on the 5th August 2012.
Organized crime is highlighted when it comes to secrecy. The Mafia has always focused on keeping secret all the structure, agreements and strategies of its organization. Generations and long traditions on the importance of “Omerta” in the mid-1990 were taken over by a policy scheme called “pentiti” where criminals had a chance to promote justice and be rewarded if they cooperate with the public prosecutor and the police (Siegel, 2011).
In any Secret Society reciprocal confidence is expected of its members. One of the purposes of maintaining secrets is for protection. Any member of a secret society who needs protection can only protect himself by hiding temporarily, but his existence cannot be kept secret. In contrast, a united society which is involved in criminal activities and conspiracies must remain permanently a secret. Strangely a society that has been publicized already can afford to accommodate themselves to further betrayals as they have already endured public scrutiny and any further accusations are unlikely to surprise anyone. Secret Societies are deemed precarious simply because of its secrecy, because of this, the imagination of the unknown inflates concern into unremarkable horrors and dangers (Simmel, 1906).
The idea of this research started because people whom the researcher knew has indicated a willingness to divulge certain information for the sake of research as long as they remained anonimous. The researcher had been promised an informal meeting to cover some aspects of Freemasonry by a member of a fraternal society in Malta but more than once the meetings were cancelled until the tracks went cold. A similar interview with a lady of Nobility after months of preparation proved fruitless as she could not remember even the smallest bit of historical information. This was a setback that the researcher had to adjust to. Gaining personal views or information from live sources, rather than having a research wholly based from literaturea would have proved to be more interesting. However the research agenda had to be changed. When reviewing the literature, particular attention had to be made to sift academic research from the myriad of papers and books that were linked to conspiracy theories which could not be proven.
The overall structure of this dissertation takes the form of five chapters, including this Introductory Chapter. Chapter one presents issues about the Legality of Secret Societies and the oaths and rituals performed in Lodges around the world. All these societies are classified as different types of organizations. Freemasonry is a fraternal society limiting its membership to adult men who believe in a ‘Supreme Being’ and Anti-Freemasonry are mentioned in Chapter two. Opus Dei is a religious order founded by a Spanish priest as a Catholic lay organization and the Vatican is mentioned in Chapter three. The Bilderberg Group is a political order with P2 (Propaganda Due) a fraternal and political society as mentioned in Chapter four. The Mafia and the Mexican Mafia, also known as ‘La Eme’, are termed criminal societies as mentioned in Chapter five, the last chapter of this dissertation (Greer, 2006).
Chapter 1: Legality of Secret Societies
Magistrate Carol Peralta before being appointed Magistrate, was linked to being a Freemason, this sparked an awakening for transparency in the Maltese Justice System. A very prominent newspaper, the Malta Today, insisted that they had acquired a comprehensive list of freemasons in Malta including well known businessmen, politicians, medical practitioners and members of the Nationalist Party. This statement had worried the government as Maltese society begs for transparency, accountability and less of preferential treatment (Malta Today November 3rd 2002. Retrieved on March 1st 2012 from http://www.maltatoday.com.mt).
Chapter 4 of The Constitution of Malta guarantees the fundamental human rights and freedom of the individual, which includes the right to privacy, freedom of expression, worship and association. In 1987 Malta being a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights, had these rights seeded into Maltese domestic law. This means that our freedom of association in private gatherings and membership in Masonic Lodges is a justifiable right and a guarantee by law especially when challenged and if all local remedies have been exhausted, one can appeal to the European court for redress. Article 14 of the Convention on Human Rights offers protection for Masons against discrimination. According to Agius, 1998, Masonic lodges in Malta are classified as unregistered associations, therefore no permit is required to operate is required.
The Code on Organization and Civil Procedure, (Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta, Article 734) may challenge a judge from sitting in a case, but does not mention association with Freemasonry. More often it is a question of whether the magistrate or judge gives importance to a case in which a Masonic Lodge, and Masonic Institution in question of which he is a member.
In 1961 President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the National Newspaper Publishers Association in New York. The subject for his speech was secret societies, secret oaths and secret proceedings. President Kennedy explains in his speech the urgency to tackle the issues with the help of publishers, writers and the so called “Press”.
“The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little threat of opposing a secret society by imitating arbitrary restrictionsâ€¦”
(Kennedy, 1961: 2)
President Kennedy explains that the government, the people, businessmen or labor leaders and every newspaper editor requires a change in outlook, tactics and missions. He goes on to state that the world is challenged to a ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means and has conscripted vast human and material resources into building a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that includes diplomatic, military, scientific, intelligence and political operations. It conducts the Cold War with a war-time discipline where no democracy would ever hope to match. Mistakes are buried, not headlined, no rumor is printed, no expenditure is questioned and finally no secret is revealed. The president goes on to say that the government at all levels has the obligation to provide every citizen with the fullest information possible and within the limits of national security (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved on March 14th 2012 from http:/www.jfklibrary.org).
In the United States secret societies such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were formed and spread to southern states such as North Carolina where laws such as “Black Codes” meant to terrorize afro-americans were passed. This had subjected former slaves to a variety of restrictions such as their right to freedom. In 1866, Congress passed a bill in which the Federal government abiding by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would grant full citizenship and equal rights under the law to all American citizens including blacks and former slaves (North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial .Retrieved on March 14th 2012 from http://www.nccivilwar150.com/history/reconstruction.htm).
North Carolina had ratified the 14th Amendment on July 4th 1868 but opponents of this new law such as the Ku Klux Klan used murder and intimidation to suppress the Republican vote in 1870. In that same year on February 26th, Wyatt Outlaw, a former slave and former Union soldier was lynched by the Klan. Using the term “white supremacy” the Klan continued to use violence. Governor Holden who helped organize the black population and used State troops against the Klan was assassinated at the county court house. The assassins were eventually freed by the Federal Judges (North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial retrieved on March 14th 2012 from http://www.nccivilwar150.com/history/reconstruction.htm). Two popular afro-american political leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were assassinated in the 60’s and the Ku Klux Klan were suspected of killing them as they posed a threat to the Klan’s vision of America (Southwell, & Twist 2007).
The North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 14, Article 4A prohibits Secret Societies and Activities. The article defines what is prohibited in their county, like any two or more people associated or organized together that is engaged in covert meetings. Among themselves the use of certain grips or passwords used for the purpose of advancement or as part of their ritual disguise their body, face or voice. It is unlawful to place a burning or flaming cross in a private or public property with the intention of intimidation. Klan members became infamous for burning Christian Crosses (Southwell & Twist 2007). In the Statutes there are exemptions as any person can wear traditional holiday costumes in season, the wearing of any mask because of the nature of the person’s profession or occupation, masquerade balls and Mardi Gras celebrations, gas masks used in civil defense drills. Permission should be granted to any members elect of a society, order or organization engaged in any ritual, initiation and ceremony to make use of costume or disguise whether the identity is concealed or not, in a private, public building or street as permission should be obtained from a representative of such society in the municipality they live in. North Carolina is the only state in the United States enforcing this law.
In 2011 a mysterious encrypted manuscript consisting of over 75,000 handwritten characters that filled 105 pages in a bound volume was deciphered. Dating back to 1760 and 1780, this document reveals the rituals and political leanings of an 18th century secret society in Germany namely the “Hocherleuchtete Oculist Order of Wolfenbuttel”. Kevin Knight, the computer scientist of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering who formed part of the group that cracked the cipher stated that this breakthrough opened up a window for people who study the history of secret societies and states that historians believe that secret societies played a role in revolutions and has yet to be worked out from the enciphered documents (Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com on October 25th 2011). The first meaningful words that came out from this manuscript were in German and were “Ceremonies of Initiation” followed by “Secret Section”. This manuscript, the ‘Copiale Cipher’, provided a detailed description of initiation ceremonies using techniques to instill fear into the initiates and revealed the methods each member used to identify each other in the outside world which is very similar to Masonic rites (Secret Societies Code Cracked. Retrieved on October 25th 2011 from http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/25/8482183-secret-societys-code-cracked).
Adolf Hitler, an Austrian-born German dictator in his famous book “Mein Kampf”, wrote in 1925, a political manifesto announcing his hatred of Judaism and Communism. Hitler stated his assumption that the Jewish people had a considerable influence (that could not be tolerated) on economic affairs. Adolf Hitler stated further that the Jewish people’s influence grew with terrifying speed through the controlling of the stock exchange. He believed that the Jews were the owners, or at least the controllers, of the national labor force. The Jews strengthened further their political and economical domain by trying to tear down racial and civil barriers that would hinder them from moving forward. To this end, Adolf Hitler argued that the Jewish People fight with all the tenacity innate in him for religious tolerance. The Jews succumbed to Freemasonry completely, as Freemasonry is an excellent instrument with which to fight for one’s aims and one’s ideas. With the connections in which the governing circles and high class citizens of the political and economic bourgeoisie have, Freemasonry is the ultimate power-tool which would never fall under suspicion (Mein Kampf: Volume One – A Reckoning. Adolf Hitler 1925).
Adolf Hitler states that Fascist Italy fought against the three prime weapons in which the Jews used to reach their goal and position. Firstly it was the removal of Freemasonry and secret societies, the elimination of the “Super-national Press” and finally the abolition of Marxism and the Fascist concept of the State as this would allow the Italian government in the years to come, to adhere to the interests of the Italian people without any mocking from the Jewish elite (Mein Kampf: Volume Two – The National Socialist Movement, Adolf Hitler 1925).
Although Hitler disagreed with Secret Societies, in 1919, he himself became a member of the Thule Society, a secret society which originated from racist ideologies and the occult. This society would help to rake in Nazi sympathizers and wealthy conservatives. By amalgamating with the Nazi party, membership rose and leaned more onto Nazi rule. Rudolf Hess, also a Thule member and Nazi Deputy, used his connections to gain support for Hitler’s party from countries mostly France and Germany (Greer, 2006).
Chapter 2: Fraternal Secret Societies
In 1726 a letter was sent to a member of a Lodge within England. The person sending the letter was a father concerned about his son and the affairs of Freemasonry within the Lodge. Obviously the father was worried when he read in the newspaper of an article stating that there was once an act of vengeance against whoever broke an oath. Freemasons were faced with punishments such as having their tongues cut out and their throats slit. The United Grand Lodge, the society’s governing body stated that any physical penalties would be removed in relation to the obligations of every member. The Duke of Kent, who was himself a Grand -Master acknowledged that the urge for secrecy and excessive devotion to the fraternity damaged the fraternity’s reputation (Piatigorsky, 1997).
Of the most famous secret societies in the modern western world we have Freemasonry. Also known as Masonry, it emerged in Britain during the seventeenth century and took modern form decades after the founding of the first Grand Lodge of England in1717. Freemasonry is a fraternal society limiting its membership to adult men who believe in a Supreme Being. After 1717 while being closely associated with liberal political causes, Masons such as George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Simon Bolivar played important roles in political affairs and world history although Freemasonry is not a political organization, but a fraternity (Greer, 2006).
The history of Freemasonry dates back further to Hiram Abiff, the master -mason of Solomon’s Temple, who was murdered because he would not reveal the Masonic secrets (Roberts, 1972). The origins of Freemasonry can be traced reliably to the guilds of stonemasons, although many theories have been penned including a debate as to whether Freemasonry is descended from the Knights Templar (Morgan, 2006).
“Free Mason” is a term listed in one of the earliest of the documents regarding stonemasons .The word “Freemason” is puzzling as there are several possibilities for the meaning of this term. One probable explanation suggests that the individual workmen were free to move from one building project or country to another, much as the “free agency” status of a baseball player of today (Omholt, 2011).
Freemasonry is described by De Wolff (1969) as a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols and is the best definition that can be given in a single sentence. The symbols are those instruments or tools with which the mason is accustomed to work and we take these tools and apply the lesson learnt to our morals. The symbols being the gavel, square and the compass are much easier to understand compared to lengthy dissertations upon the ideas of work, duty and rectitude which they symbolize. Symbolism appeals to the intellect as the will and the soul in freemasonry.
Famous people past who were freemasons were Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, Prince Arthur, Irving Berlin, Samuel L Clemens (Mark Twain), Edward VII, Edward VIII, Sir Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George VI, George Washington, Peter Sellers, Rudyard Kipling , John Wayne among others. Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Gerald Ford (38th President of the United States) and Rev. Jesse Jackson are today well known Freemasons (Morgan, 2006).
Of the many Secret Societies that abound worldwide, in Malta we find quite a few Masonic Lodges. Namely the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta, Logga Mikiel Anton Vassalli, Abercorn Lodge, Count Roger of Normandy Lodge, Logga Fenici, Hospitaliers Lodge, Ars discendi Lodge, Loggia Flos Mundi, White Sea Lodge and Mare Nostrum. It quite interesting to note that the last five Lodges have come into being in the last eight years: since the year 2004 to be more precise. Like other societies, they are secret only to a certain extent. Had Freemasonry really been secret, few would know anything at all about it. So much so that quite a few Lodges have their own Web Sites. The Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta seems to be on the fore front with its own website (Retrieved on December 15th from http://www.sglom.eu/subordinatelodges.aspx ).
The Logo for Freemasonry is the famous 24 inch gauge, the gavel, the square, the compass and trowel.
All tools employed by the Operative Stone Mason in Freemasonry carry moral or spiritual significance. The literal stone mason, brick layer and construction builder that is operating in the architectural field is classified as Operative Masonry. By taking the working tools of the Operative Mason, such as the 24 inch gauge, the common gavel, the plumb-line, the square, compass and trowel, the Speculative Mason assigns each with spiritual and moral meaning in order to generate its religious teaching among its members. The apron used by the Operative Mason which is used to protect his groin and guard his garments from stain and soil has the meaning of “symbol of good works” which masons are taught for salvation, are the symbol used on freemason’s badges (Order of Former Freemasons: Retrieved on December 5th 2011from http://www.formermasons.org/).
According to De Wolff (1969), a Mason’s work cannot be done on his own. It is the work of a community of men of the same convictions. Unity is the Lodge joined together in the forging of a fraternal chain which must become universal so that mankind in whatever place shall constitute one Lodge only, one great Brotherhood and will have give rise to world peace.
Freemasonry has attracted a torrent of speculation from Masons and non-Masons alike, and much of that speculation has fastened on the question of Freemasonry’s origins. Emerging out of obscurity in Britain in the middle of the seventeenth century, it has no documented origin or founder. The oldest surviving Masonic document, The Old Charges, trace the Craft back to a biblical origin (Greer, 2006).
The Old Charges are considered by Masons to form the earliest records of the Craft. Each copy of the Old Charges includes an opening prayer to God as the Great Architect of the Universe (G.A.O.T.U.), an account of the legendary history of the stonemasons craft, and a set of rules and regulations for the guilds and their members; according to Masonic tradition they were read aloud to new members of the guilds at the time of their initiation. The oldest surviving copy is the ‘Regius manuscript’, dating from around 1390 and currently in the British Museum (Greer, 2006).
The Charges of a Freemason was extracted from the ancient records of ‘Lodges beyond Sea’. In England, Scotland and Ireland it is used in Lodges where the Master shall read it at the making of a new brethren. This ‘Charge’ consists of readings about God and Religion, Civil Magistrate (Supreme and Subordinate), Lodges, Masters (Fellows, Wardens and Apprentices), the Management of the Craft and finally the Behavior of the Brethren (Anderson, Franklin and Royster, 1734).
Taken from the records of ‘Lodges of the Sea’ by Anderson, Franklin and Royster , the following paragraphs are simplified in order to explain the beliefs in their constitution which was and still is embedded in Freemasonry and is somewhat bible to them .
As regards to God and Religion, a Mason is obliged to obey the Moral Law and if he so understands it he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor morally unrestrained. In ancient times Masons had to follow the religion of that country or nation, today it is thought more expedient only to oblige them to the religion of which they want to follow, whilst leaving opinions to themselves. They should be Men of Honor and Honesty no matter which religion they follow.
For instance, as a Civil Magistrate, a mason is a peaceable subject to the Civil Powers wherever he works or resides and will never conspire and plot against the peace and welfare of the nation. Nor should he behave undutiful to inferior Magistrates, for as Masonry has always been injured by war, bloodshed and confusion. Ancient kings and princes have encouraged the Craftsmen because of their peacefulness and loyalty to answer the Cavils of their Adversaries and promote the honor of the fraternity. If a Brother should commit an act of treason he is not to be commended in his rebellion although pitied as an unhappy man and if convicted of no other crime, his loyal Brotherhood must disown his rebellion and give no grounds of political jealousy to the Government and cannot expel him from the Lodge and his relation to it remains irrepressible.
With respect to lodges, it is a place where Masons assemble and work. Every brother should belong to one and would be subject to By-Laws and the General Regulations. It is that Assembly, or Society of Masons, that is called a Lodge in which every Brother ought to belong to one. It is either distinct or extensive, and will be best understood by attending it, and by following the regulations of the General or Grand Lodge. From the beginnings no Master or Fellow could be absent, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe condemnation, until it appears to the Master and Wardens, that pure necessity hindered him. The persons admitted as members of a Lodge must be good and true Men, free-born, and of mature and discreet age, no bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good reputation.
No Master or warden is chosen by status, but for merit. Unless he has sufficient employment for him, no Master shall take an apprentice, unless he be a perfect healthy youth capable of learning the art of serving his Master’s Lord, working his way up from Brother, to Fellow-Craft in due time, after serving such a term of years as the custom of the country directs. He should be a descendent of honest parents that he may arrive to the honor of being the Warden, then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden and at length the Grand Master of all the Lodges, according to his merit.
To work his way up the ranks no Brother can be a Warden unless he has passed the part of being a Fellow-Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has been a Master of a Lodge, nor Grand Master unless he has been a Fellow-Craft before his election, who is born a noble, or a fashionable gentleman, Scholar, Architect, or Artist, all born from honest parents and who has been a great merit in the opinion of the lodges. The Grand Master has the power to choose his own Deputy Grand Master, an honor bestowed to him on leaving office. The Deputy Grand Master must then or have been a Master of another particular lodge. Obedience in their respective stations is mandatory by all the Brethren, which includes all Rulers and Governors, Supreme and Subordinate of the Ancient Lodge and abides by the rules of the Old Charges and Regulations, with all Humility, Reverence, Love and Zeal.
As regards to Management of the Craft, all Masons shall work diligently on working days, live honorably on holy days and the time appointed by the law of the land corroborated by custom, shall be observed. The Craftsmen are to avoid ill language, insult and envy at the prosperity of a Brother or Fellow and behave courteously in and out of the Lodge. All the tools used in the Grand lodge shall be approved by the Grand Lodge. No Laborer shall be employed in the proper work of Masonry and neither Freemason work with those that are not free, and are not accepted to teach laborers and unaccepted masons as they would teach a Fellow or Brother.
Members are not allowed to hold private meetings, converse without permission from the Master, not talk of anything arrogant or unseemly and not to interrupt any Brother or Wardens wanting to speak to the Master. In the Lodge, the behavior of its members should not be mocked, and language used should respect its Master, Wardens and Fellows. If complaint should be brought forward towards a Brother, if found guilty he would have to face the proper and competent judges within the lodge and not seek redress with the Law about what concerns Masonry without an absolute necessity in what is credible to the lodge.
As Masons there should be no quarrels over religion, the state and nations. Masons are of Universal Religion, Nations, Tongues, Family and Languages. Freemasons are dead against politics, as it has never having been fruitful to the lodge, and will never be so.
Masons should salute one another in a courteous manner. Masons should respect past Masons, as he deserves honor. A non -mason should also be shown respect. Caution should be used in a brethrens attitude and conversation so as not to intimidate strangers and not to dishonor the worshipful fraternity.
Members are not to let family, friends and neighbors know the concerns of the Lodge. Family members should not be neglected or injured. Drunkenness and gluttony should be avoided as concern should be with your own health.
Masons are advised to be discreet when looking out for another member of the fraternity. If you should discover him to be a true member you can employ him or direct him to employment. All wrangling and quarreling sh
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