Behaviour in the presence of strangers not Masons

Hearing the news yesterday of the appointment of Edward Stevenson as the new Grand Master of the Orange Lodge i dug out this little book i picked up last year down at St. Georges market. It’s dated from 1943 so without doubt some of it will be out of date.

In the section ‘The Charges of a Freemason’ (reprinted from the version published in 1730 by Bro John Pennell, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland) and under the heading  ‘The General Heads’ section VI  is titled ‘Of Behaviour’ dealing with how a brother should act in various situations i.e.,  In the lodge while constituted, After the lodge is over and the Brethern not gone, When Bretheren meet without strangers, but not formed in a lodge, In presence of strangers not Masons, At home and in the neighbourhood and lastly Towards a strange Brother.

Given the guarded and faltering comments by the new GM yesterday i thought it apt to reproduce section 4  Behaviour in presence of Strangers not Masons……

“You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most penetrating Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated;and sometimes you shall divert a Discourse, and manage prudently, for the Honour of the worshipful Fraternity”

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  • dmcoop

    Are you mixing up Freemasons and Orangemen?

  • There is a Grand Lodge of Ireland and a Grand Lodge of Ireland. One is Masonic and one is Orange.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I wonder how many Sluggerites own such a book…..but not picked up in St Georges Market. In our Masonic jurisdiction,I am not sure whether membership is by invite only or if done by petition. Maybe it says in the book.
    I must call into Arthur Square next time I am in Belfast.
    I think I still need two references but that would be difficult as no right thinking person (inside or outside the Masons)would ever give me a reference.

  • fitzjameshorse, if you live in Ireland or any English speaking country (Grand Lodge) it’s by reference but on the continent you need to be invited (Grand Orient). Grand Lodges require members to believe in a Supreme Being whereas the Grand Orient admite atheists (and have a long tradition of anti-clericalism).

  • Sorry Moochin, but i am slightly confused as to the connection.

    The Grand Lodge of of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland is very different to the Grand Orange Lodge in Ireland (or GOLI).

    The oldest being the Masonic, with the formalised Lodge being created in 1725, with evidence (through Lodge books and clearly Masonic artefacts) dating Masonic activity in Ireland back to the 16th Century.

    The Grand Orange Lodge in Ireland was formed in 1798 coming from the formation of small lodges drawing on existing Orange Clubs from 1795 onwards.

    The book you refer to is the Laws and Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, not GOLI.

    GOLI has its own book of Laws and Constitutions, from which the new Grand Master can draw inspiration from. I am unsure of where the GM stands in realtion to Freemasonry. It depends on where he stands with his own faith and beliefs. Along with the Roman Catholic church, many Protestant churches do not agree with Freemasonry at all.

    Also the photograph portrays a completely wrong image. Feemasonry in Ireland as a whole has Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Seik and Hindu members. Freemasonry has its HQ in Molesworth Street Dublin. It may be a more appropriate picture if the book was the GOLI Laws and Constitutions, with its HQ in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    Sorry – bit pedantic but the post, while i think pertinent in some respects, is confusing two entirely different institutions with one another and creating a link that does not exist (the GM probably is not a Freemason and was speaking on behalf of the Orange Order – not the Masonic.)

    If you ever bore of the book let me know and i will reimburse you – I collect Masonic memorabelia.

    fitzjameshorse1745 – I own a more up to date book ;~) (oh, and you just have to ask!)

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, would a Jacobite be welcome in Masonic circles? actually it is sometihng I have been wondering, although mainstream masonry became closely associated with the Hanovers there appears to suggestions of a Jacobite element remaining also, possibly more continental based, the main reason I ask is because of the Aughnacloy Thistle, would love to know does it contain masonic as well as Jocobite symbolism. I’m presuming your something of an expert on Irish Jacobites and would love a chat about Acheson Moore!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Drumlins Rock,
    Let me state first that I am NOT a Jacobite and my interest is entirely historic. Indeed in most modern (sic) Jacobite (they havent gone away you know) circles I am regarded as a heretic…indeed I am Satanic.
    The first republican wa Satan himself and in overthrowing legitimate monachies (eg the French Revolution) ordained by GOD himself , republicans are following the example of Satan. So I am tolerated by some and reviled by others. I dont suppose anyone here would seriously object if I describe modern Jacobites as clinicly insane.
    The Jacobite movement (am I really typing this?) has its face set against anything that happened after 1688.
    I was a little tongue in cheek about wanting to join the Masons….I take the Groucho Marx view that I cant join a club that would want me as a member.

    On the specifics of Jacobites and Masonry, there is a degree of secrecy with both and therefore that leads to speculation. There are some interesting articles including a doctorate thesis on Jacobites/Masonry circa 2005. The authors name eludes me at the moment.
    But a good reference is the Masonic Orders own Guide and Compendium published by Harrap in 1950 and which has a piece on the Jacobite tradition and Masonry. I cant recall the full details but it is mostly dismissive of any serious link.
    Yet we do know that there was a Jacobite/masonic link in Sweden and we do know that the Scottish Rite Lodge in Constantinople (founded 18th century) had Jacobite leanings.
    I must emphasise that I have no real knowledge of any Masonic traditions (Grand Lodge, Scottish Rite whatever) but the theory is advanced that Scottish Rite and Jacobitism are connected.
    My experience is that those calling themselves Jacobites will cling to any piece of evidence they want and exaggerate it.
    For example the bogus books on the Holy Grail, Scotland, Templar nonsense bring in the Stuarts, “sang real” and such.
    This simultaneously appeals to the “legitimist” mindset intrigued by quasi religious mystique AND tend to antagonise a “Catholic” mindset. Freemasonry being progressive.
    So the two sides make reassuing compromises which invites us to believe that Claverhouse “Bonnie Dundee” rode into death at Killiecrankie wearing Templar livery.
    More likely staunch Jacobites like Derwentwater might have been masons.
    But in the early years of the 18th century, Jacobitism was in exile in St Germain and essentially a political football between largely secular anti clerical elements in France (pro mason) and the Papacy (anti masonic as the Papal Bull of 1738? confirms).
    I think Scottish and other Jacobite gentlemen flirted with masonic enlightenment. The big question is whether Prince Charles was initiated by Charles Radcliffe/Derwentwater. The Bonnie Prince…..was of course a drunken spouse abuser (denied by modern Jacobites) and not devoutly Catholic. But I think it unlikely.
    Of course after Jacobite collapse those young gentlemen probably repudiated their masonic connexion or developed it later in pre revolutionary France.
    The last I heard about The Thistle was some talk of a History Park.

  • Oooops bit of a school boy error there from me and sorry for any misunderstanding. In my defense, when i bought the book it was alongside a bowler and a sash and those orange cuffs so i assumed they were linked.
    It does highlight the perception of the OO i suppose (well mine at least)
    I’d be very interested in trying to understand the OO better with a guiding hand. I do know that they are more than just an organisation that marches every year and that they do do alot of fund raising for charites so i’d welcome any help as regards finding out more and documenting the unseen side of the OO.
    Ivor i’m open to offers as regards the book…..

  • Munsterview

    Shane : since you appear knowledgeable in the subject of Masons would you please do a short overview on the pre and post Willamitte masonic reform as it effected these Islands.

    The Grand Orient is an overarching body with a myriad of constituent traditions. To inter into fitz j territory, one such strand is a branch ot the Ancient Irish and Scottish Order of which Bonnie Prince Charlie was the last titular head. He passed on ‘His Command’ to the King of Sweden on his death bed and the Swedish Royal Family, to the best of my knowledge have maintained that position.

    The fact that Sweden was one of the European Countries that recently offered Ireland money out of the blue was of course another of these remarkable co-incidences that one keep encountering in the Masonic undergrowth !

    In this coming year I hope to deal in some detail with the esoteric traditions inside Irish traditional ruling elites and notable Irish Families. When King John came to Ireland he offered to Knight King Rory O’Connor. O Connor told him that he could not do so as OConnors father had knighted him at the age of seven years as his father in turn was knighted by his own father etc.

    The IRB came from Masonic sources and up to the treachery of the Wasp Masonic establishment against the IRB during the invasion of Canada, relations were quite cordial with much dual membership. Afterwards while fraternal relations continued, the penny had dropped that Irish Indapendence was not within the plans of the Anglo Wasp world view.

    The IRB it seems fell back into esoteric Celtic and European Catholic sub rosa traditions for their spiritual inspiration. However that is a whole other story.

    “……“You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most penetrating Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated;and sometimes you shall divert a Discourse, and manage prudently, for the Honor of the worshipful Fraternity……”

    Or as is more succinctly put nowadays, ” from Ways Of The Craft ye Shall Divert ” going to be interesting to see who among the usual suspects attempts the diversion on this one !

  • Drumlins Rock

    Muster, there are interesting connections between the Hamiltons & Sweden, and they are very much part of the ascendency, which seems on the whole to be old Norman families, dosnt matter if they are Irish Scots Welsh or English. I take the whole masonic stuff with a large pinch of salt, but there seems to be an under riding truth somewhere in it of intertwined dynasties protecting themselves, what I would love to know is how many of the plantation families fit into it and did it influence their planning of the new town in Ulster.

  • Munsterview

    Drumlin R. I will pick up on your query within the next day or two !

    There is an interesting article currently headlining in titled

    ” French Imperialism, Free Masonry and the Ivory Coast ” The Article as a whole makes for interesting reading.


    ” Virtually all the African leaders ranged against Laurent Gbagbo and supporting the elite cadre of French business and political leaders are Freemasons affiliated to the same lodges as the elite French business and political group. It is impossible to understand how Françafrique works without reference to the Masons.

    French Masons represent the elite of French business and politics, Most of them were educated together at the same two elite schools and most pursue a career in the French government or French business. These schools are École Nationale d’Administration, the École Polytechnique and École Polytechnique.

    Freemason lodges maintain a formidable, covert influence within the French judicial and police structures. All three Freemason lodges in France were caught influence peddling and false invoicing on state contracts. Freemasons in the judiciary hamper any investigations and muzzle the press……. “

  • Drumlins Rock

    Munster, read this wikipedia article on the Hamiltons, it will give you some fasinating connection between Sweden and the Irish & English aristocracy.,_1st_Viscount_of_Glenawly

  • Please get someone who at least knows what they’re talking about !!

    “Hearing the news yesterday of the appointment of Edward Stevenson as the new Grand Master of the Orange Lodge i dug out this little book i picked up last year down at St. Georges market”

    So where did the Ulster Flag come from or was that just for visual effect ?

  • Munsterview

    belffastjj : ” Please get someone who at least knows what they’re talking about !! ”

    Always happy to oblige, can do at least in relation to French Free Masons with a current article and topic ! This link should be hot but if not cut and paste into google search for an interesting read. Of course these sort of things could not happen in British Free Masonry, it is just those pesky Frenchies giving the whole show a bad name what !, le 5 janvier 2011

    Article abstract……

    One of the key as aspects of the current impasse in the Ivory Coast is the important role played by the French Freemasons and their African lodge leaders. Virtually all the African leaders ranged against Gbagbo and supporting the elite cadre of French business and political leaders are Freemasons affiliated to the same lodges as the French business and political group. It is impossible to understand how Françafrique works without reference to the Masons.

    The French Masons represent the elite of French business and politics, Most of them were educated together at the same two schools and most pursue a career in the administration of the French government or the administration of French business. At French firms there is often pressure to hire or promote people based on their connections.

    A study by Francis Kramarz and David Thesmar published in 2006 by the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn looked at three French business networks: former civil servants who graduated from the École Nationale d’Administration, former civil servants who graduated from the École Polytechnique and École Polytechnique graduates who went straight into business.

    These two elite schools, which produce 500 or so French graduates a year, dominate the boards of France’s biggest companies. The study showed that firms run by former civil servants who maintained their links to government markedly underperformed those run by executives with purely private-sector backgrounds[i]
    Freemason lodges maintain a formidable, covert influence within the French judicial and police structures. All three Freemason lodges in France have gained reputations in recent years for being caught out peddling political influence and pursuing false invoicing on state contracts, particularly in companies controlled by the state.

    Freemasons in the judiciary hamper any investigations through bureaucratic measures designed to torpedo any serious attempt at reform. One of the topmost grievances raised by the muzzled Press is the Grande Lodge National Française’s (GLNF) open-armed embrace of brutal or corrupt African dictators who are Masons. The other two Grand Lodges are no different.

  • Belfastjj (John)

    I admitted i made an error no big deal really but yeah i made a mistake. A school boy error as i said. I now know that there are two Grand Lodges in Ireland, one Masonic one Orange so i learnt something, the subsequent posts also were informative. Not sure what the purpose of your post was though other than to have a dig at me….get out the school playground.
    As for the Ulster bunting well it seemed apt to accompany the book and it was yet another piece that i found lying around the streets of East Belfast. Would you prefer that i used a Union Flag bunting? Because i have plenty of that too which was also lying around in the gutter.

  • Munsterview

    Moochin : your ‘ mistake’ may not be as erroneous as you think. A high ranking Masonic figure who had been a Northern Unionist before emigrating told me in our last conversation that masonic membership for senior and older members of the Orange Order was a norm rather than an exception.

    You may indeed have annoyed some people as you have inadvertently started a thread on a topic that they would prefer to stay in the shadows rather than have political and other implications examined in the clear light of day.

    Why not request on a post for some readers who are members of OO or Masonic Lodges to take you and your camera along to their next meeting ?

    Now there is a few inside photos I would not mind seeing !

  • Well i can’t really send out an FOI request to correlate membership between the two!
    I’m serious when i said that i would like to document the unseen side of the OO. I think it wouldn’t do any harm and it would help to garner a better and wider understanding of what the OO do aside from the all too obvious marching.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Like to oblige you mooch, but you would prob only publish a pic of UVF scratched on the back of a toilet door by a 12 yr old.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Munster, that probably was more true in the past than the present, one of the main factors would be an increasing number of conservative evangelicals holding office in the OO, a group who are traditionally suspicious of the Masonic.
    Occasionally they also share a building, but its not that common, and the Masonic always have a seperate room. Dont know of any masons in my lodge, but have never asked, but I do know of a few who are/were more senior Orangemen in the area.
    But if its conspiracies and influence you are looking, try the average Golf or Rugby Club.

  • Munsterview

    Drumlins R : “Munster, read this wikipedia article on the Hamilton, it will give you some fascinating connection between Sweden and the Irish & English aristocracy.”

    I have a better source than that; one of the good friends I made in the hidden history conferences some years ago belongs to the southern branch of the family, a lovely person now living on the Continent.

    Always causes our seassanach friends no end of bemusement as to how a revolutionary republican and a somebody from ascendancy aristocracy could be friends and enjoy each others company. We do, I will admit, enjoy sending them up on the subject.

    On the more serious end of things the chopper accident towards the end of last year where a ‘shooting party’ some of whom were friends of Prince Charles were lost, had apparently been Guests at the Duke of Hamilton’s estate. Other guests of a more nationalist tinge were also there at some period over that weekend, the English Party certainly had the ear of the British Establishment.

    According to some sources those on the Nationalist side also had the ear of militant republicans. I am well aware of the part played by the Duke and his family in politics : their hands have never been far from the levers of power on these islands…….. or the strings that make the puppets (or muppets depending on the viewpoint), dance !

    If this tragic accident had not happened and a corner of the secrecy veil inadvertently lifted, whatever went on that weekend would be yet another thing that slipped unnoticed and unknown, under the radar.

    However probably just my paranoia: have the British Government not said that they have no no strategic or selfish interests in the Six Counties” ? Indeed !

  • See John you mightn’t think its NO big deal but it is !!

    It was another attempt by you to run down the protestant community ie linking the OO Grand Master and his stance not to meet SF or the GAA and of course adding the flag for visual effect !!

    Just the way your photos of East Belfast and its one sided bias agenda.

    But it backfired and just a bit of advice stick to what your good at “taking pictures”

  • Munsterview

    belfastjj “….. and of course adding the flag for visual effect !!…”

    I do not know anything about ‘Moochin’ other than enjoying his photos. It could very well be that he has an agenda ‘ to run down the protestant community ‘ as you put it. However my impression is, to use a Munster saying, that if ‘Moochin’ was hanged for his politics, he would die innocent!

    Moochin is an artist and a bloody good one at that. I have worked with enough visual artists over the years to know they see the world from a different perspective. In composing that image, Moochin probably see only the picture, that is the way he thinks, while you see the politics of it, that also is your mind set and mine as political animals.

    Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes. While the rest of us were struggling to keep out water pipes working in the snow, I suspect that fitzj was in his element out the back in the snow drifts with his boxes of model soldiers recreating a highland winter campaign! The thought of what was dangling from beneath his kilt with icicles hanging off it do not even bear thinking about : ” hardy man, hardy man ” as Kavanagh the poet would say !

    There is enough heavy stuff on slugger, Moochins photos, Pete’s space pics and other shared special interests should help lighten the mood, not start another bloody row!

    As to the “attempt by you to run down the protestant community ie linking the OO Grand Master…… ”

    I have attended RC church up there a fair few times and I have yet to see a OO loge lined up for communion at half ten mass. If the OO are not protestant community then who the hell are they ? Is not defending protestant faith and values the very reason for their existence so what’s your problem belfastjj?.

  • Hi MV of course i’ll have to be careful what i say but just go through the photos back July last year and then give me your opinion please.

    Did i deny that he wasn’t a good artist ??

    Not everyone in the protestant community is in the OO in fact numbers are dropping in the OO

    And not everyone in the protestant community supports the OO

    How would you know if an OO member was at Mass ?

    Just helping you and others understand !!

  • Munsterview

    belfastjj “…Just helping you and others understand !!…”

    Appreciated : I am also attempting to do the same thing from my end, regarding my own constituencys.

    As to Moochin, in this particular instance, by his own admission he got the jerseys mixed. It would appear to me that someone into politics would not have done this and he just inadvertently got into something, rather than deliberately setting out to stir up a hornets nest.

    On Southern Irish politics, just heard on the news that Mary Wallas TD in the latest Fianna Failed to head for the hills. It really is getting to be a case for FF of would the last one leaving please switch off the light. Then again they can save themselves the bother : the lights were switched out in Fianna Failure a long, long time ago!

    I will do a blogg on the latest figures tomorrow.

  • Drumlin……you are right to assume that i’d take a photo of a scrawl like that however that is not and would not be the focus of what i’d like to document. Interesting though that you obviously know of an Orange Hall with such a scrawl in it…why wouldn’t that be removed?
    John i cannot escape the conclusion that you are trying to tell me what i should and should not photograph. I live in East Belfast and as such i will continue to document that which i think needs to be highlighted. I resent your accusation of me having an agenda to “run down protestantism”, but you have your blinkered view so i guess i’ll just have to sigh and roll my eyes the next time you decide to try to defame me.
    Cheers Munsterview

  • I’m surprised no one has pointed out that the flag is a Northern Ireland one as distinct from an Ulster one 😉

  • “you have your blinkered view”

    Don’t we all, MP? Instead of kicking shins can I suggest you add a correction to the thread header.

  • “You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage ..”

    This paragraph also looks like sound advice from a party leader to a party colleague – or a Minister to his/her Permanent Secretary. Is ‘divert a Discourse’ spin’s antecedent?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    When I was a teen, (1960s) I used to go with my dad to pay the quarterly electricity bill in the City Hall. My dad was obsesses by the number of masons working as cashiers in the City Hall. They wore ornate rings and lapel badges. Which even then I thought was a bit strange for a secret society. (its actually a society with secrets).
    But I always thought my dad had a fixation with masons. How people shook hands or stood up or whatever.
    Drumlins Rock has identified a division between Orange (Williamite) and Masons which in a way mirrors the Jacobite/Masonic division. I suppose its best described as a wariness of modernity as well as a religious aspect where the Great Architect is a lesser person that the Creator.

    Christians tend to think that Satans greatest achievement is convincing the world that he doesnt exist. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Masons is convincing the general public that they are harmless. I am entirely neutral on the subject.
    But it seems my few dealings with Masons have been harmless. I used to work with a man who came into the office (regularly ……monthly perhaps) with a little brown suitcase which he happily opened to reveal his sky blue apron/regalia. Harmless enough.
    Indeed my experence is that while Catholics had occasionally a problem with Protestant bosses (and vice versa ….with the proviso that “yer own is the worst”) it was only Protestants who had a bad feeling about Masons. Like the man who felt that his work as a “salesman” was inhibited by being a non-mason.
    Likewise a female colleague seemed slightly irritated as her hubby (an insurance broker) rose thru the degrees. She had to help him with the words. She thought it was childish. “He told me it would make us rich but its costing a fortune”.
    But while the image of masons is occasionally sinister……Roberto Calvi hanging from Blackfriars Bridge…..may or may not mean anything.
    The modern image is one of frankly buffoonery. Who can forget Homer Simpson as a Stonecutter? Who can forget Fred Elliott I say I say Fred Elliott from Coronation Street as a “Square Dealer”?
    An average mason might well say “oh God/Supreme Architect not that old nonsense about Calvi again”.
    Or perhaps Homer Simpson and Fred Elliott are images they would prefer us to have.
    Certainly it would be nice to know the number of masons in society and the number in Civil Service, boardrooms of banks, the Assembly etc But more than likely its just harmless but organised cronyism with a side order of buffoonery.

  • fjh, Fred Elliott, the Banbridge butcher, must have been the butt of a few ‘I say, I say’ jibes!

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mooch, sadly you confirm my fears, for just as you displayed with your pics of the 12th that you are more interested in finding petty examples of sectarianism on the fringe, rather that giving a balanced representation, you would not rest until you got the shot to fit to preconception, otherwise I would gladly give you an insight in the Orange Order.

  • DR
    You didn’t answer my question rather you dodged it…ho hum.
    Have you considered that you might be able to overcome your “fears” by letting other folks judge what the OO get up to instead of keeping it behind closed doors. As i have already stated i know that there is a great deal of charity work done by the OO so i’d like to see that for myself. Anyways for those of you who don’t know what you were referencing heres a link to the12th photos with the accompanying text.

  • Drumlins Rock

    mooch, thought your “question” was rhetorical it was that silly, but to answer it, no I do not know of any such scrawl on an Orange Hall toilet door. But from now on I will keep a wee tin of paint handy just in case I spot one. Happy?
    As for what the OO get up to behind closed door, apart from the rare occasion a new member joins it is your average board/committee meeting, and obviously restricted to members entitled to attend, you can join us for the tea after, that’s if your finished studying toilet graffiti.

  • I think you’re missing the point…what about all the charity work i’ve been told goes on.
    What about the knitting groups or such like that use orange halls some of which i’m led to believe are cross community.Anyways i’d happily take a jaunt along to have a chat and see for myself…i don’t want to be restricted to just one lodge i really would like to see beyond the stereotypical image of a marching orangeman and his lodge.
    Does that make more sense?
    The one caveat i would place upon such an engagement would be that i would be free to photograph what i choose to…censorship would defeat the object i think.

  • Munsterview

    As you did not discount my contention as to how you may have spend some of the holiday period, I hope there was no frost bite on tender places !

    One side of my family has an interesting make up, they were survivors from the battle of Callans Glen. Before the battle the poets and clergy on the Gaelic side went up the hillside and ‘sat out the battle’ They were joined by a group of Norman clergy and Troubadours as who ever won were dependent on their own kind on the other side to ensure their safety.

    The battle went the Irish way and three Norman generations were wiped out on the field of battle, a set back the Southern Normans never fully recovered from for the next half century. The refuge party were settled in South West Munster and one branch stayed. My great grandfather and grand uncle married the same day and the two sisters they married were also their fourth cousins. It was the last of such extended family marriages, the famine and subsequent immigration broke up their community and it was no longer self sustaining.

    I grew up aware of esoteric traditions and a lot of sup rosa matters. Then the area ethos was that of the Celtic Church and these subjects have been a lifelong study for me and I have hundreds of books in these matters in my personal library. In recent years I have met quite a few high ranking masons and templars at the hidden history conferences that I attend. In fact I have had invitations to join branches of both over the years!

    One of the first things to appreciate about the Masonic Movement is that like the Christianity, it is has a certain sameness and common purpose. While in broad terms all loges have the same rituals and degrees up to past master level, over that and for the other hiracial degrees there is a wide diversity of traditions and practices. In fact here again it mirrors the Christian Churches in that the wide diversity of belief and traditions.

    You are correct as to the Masonic Movement being an organization with secrets : some masons will not even admit that they are members while others are quite happy to discuss philosophy and ritual with outsiders such as myself. While I do have a certain amount knowledge of the subject, time and again I have found myself in a situation of where I was imparting details of masonic and templar history that in turn came form scholarship and studies that were available in the public domain and yet was unknown to the actual membership even at past master level!

    The lower levels of the organization are not a problem, these loges do a lot of charity and other work and they do expect responsible citizenship of their members. Of course they network in business and look out for each other, at community and lower levels not necessarily a bad thing.

    At one stage before computers became common place I regularly acquired quite a few in England that I sold on and set up back in Ireland. I used a past master mason who in turn had a trawl around his own connections and I got second hand computers at well under commercial trade in value. I did not have to check the invoice I trusted him as to the quality of the goods as he did the computers that he sourced from his own people, every machine was in the condition stated!

    At senior levels in advanced degrees there is however a disporponiate and unacceptable influence in politics, finance and other controlling aspects of society. There is a world wide awareness and wariness about this with a wide range of opinions as to how much of a threat it constitutes. In books such as ‘The Lost Symbol’ the full extent that the Masonic Movement played in the foundation of the US is signposted.

    The part masons played in the French Revolution is also well documented. Here in Ireland many of the ‘Ancients’ lodges provided a neutral meeting ground for Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter, for gathering and the dissemination of ideas prior to the 98 Rising. ‘ They have not gone away, you know’ ! Occasionally as in Italy’s P2 lodge we get some indication of just how corrupt and how much of a departure from ideal society values, some lodges of the masons are in practice !

    The debate range over the net : some such as and our own would argue that the Italian corruption is not a deviation but par for the course as there are far more sinister forces behind and using the masonic movement. However that is another story. I will be returning to the historical aspects with a blogg sometime in the not too distant future.

  • LOL a blinkered view i don’t think so i’m open minded and i speak to all shades in this country just ask Sinn Fein or SDLP members at the City Hall or Policing Board.

    I’m asking you to show both sides in East Belfast something i just dont understand why you won’t do – must be because i’ve asked.

  • Munsterview


    I commented extensively in Moochins 12th, photos at the time last year. There is no point in going back over that ground again, the acid test will be if there is a repeat of that offensive face panting this year. We all need to learn and move on.

    By zeroing in on this face-painting you may well argue that such a fringe detail by a face painter and young teen girls did not represent the OO overall on that day. However if such a sectarian face painting did not exist in the first place, Moochin could not have recorded it.

    I have chaired enough public meetings in my day to know that the platform cannot controol every aspect of a crowd or fringe events. This is especially so in a gathering such as the 12th, with a pletora of fringe events.

    Do you think for a moment that if someone turned up at a Republican public meeting with a ‘kill all protestants poster’ that 1) it would be toletated by the crowd or the plathform party or 2) that it would not have made national or international media ?.

    Presumably those two girls were not the only pair with that face ‘decoration’ and the fact that it was tolerated was worring, no matter as to how unrepresentative you consider that it was it was.

    Once, when on the Ard Comhairle of Sinn Fein, I passed a Munster C of I church with a ‘ British Troops out’ and other such slogans by the main gate on the church boundary wall. I immediately broke off my journey, met the Minister and found out local Republican sympathetizers were suspected by the local community.

    I then approached the local O’C, he was not very reasonable on the matter as ‘ he had no controol over the people that did it ‘. However within an hour I ensured that he got a direct order on the matter from Southern Command and the slogans put up under the cover of darkness were removed in broad daylight in full public view by senior known republicans in that area.

    That was the end of that I am glad to say and I also ensured that the situation was monitered for a while afterwards to make sure that there was no repeat. This too is my concern for the coming 12th, will there be a repeat or will the OO stewards ensure that the fringe events conform to certain standards. I am sure that I will not be the only one keeping an eye on that !

  • Munsterview

    Regarding political tolerance, this article and video from Irish Central on the Gabrielle Giffords shooting may be of interest to some of you !