FREEMASONRY

(Investigator 20, 1991 September)


Is "a third world war being plotted by the Freemasons in an effort to reduce the world population"?

Mr Graham Murray, 54, a Freemason of Surrey Downs, Adelaide denies such a plot exists. In order to find out more, Investigator editors talked to Mr Murray and also consulted a few books.

Mr Murray has a wife, Judith, and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. He has been a Freemason over 20 years and possesses "regalia", used at ceremonies and rituals, that cost him thousands of dollars.

Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternity that claims to promote members' social, intellectual and moral improvement at assemblies and meetings through ceremonies and customs and traditions handed down. Members have included King Edward VII and George Washington (1st U.S. president) and 14 other U.S. presidents.

The meeting place is called a "Lodge". Each Lodge is governed by a Worshipful Master, a Senior and a Junior Warden, a Chaplain, a Senior and a Junior Deacon, Stewards, a Secretary and a Treasurer. A local Lodge is governed by a Grand Lodge which has jurisdiction over all the Lodges in a state. The USA had 48 Grand Lodges in 1945.

Freemasonry has many ranks or "Degrees" of membership. The 1st is an "Entered Apprentice Degree", the 5th is a "Perfect Master", the 19th a "Grand Pontiff" and the highest, the 33rd, is the "Sovereign Grand Inspector General".

Mr Murray is at the 30th which makes him a "Knight Kadosh". The different Degrees are associated with the wearing of different regalia.

Freemasons have their origin in the guilds – akin to trade or workers unions – of free craftsmen In the Middle Ages, particularly the guilds of "Masons" (stoneworkers).

Some guilds added ancient religious and philosophical ideas to their own locally acquired rituals and ceremonies and this led to modern Freemasonry. Masonry is associated with many legends such as the tomb of Peleg "the Architect of the Tower of Babel" being found in a Prussian salt mine in 533 A.D.

The Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1717, the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1731 and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 1737.

From these three Masonry spread around the world. In Australia Lodge meetings started In NSW (1813), Victoria and Tasmania (1834), South Australia (1838), Western Australia (1843) and Queensland (1859).

A lot of prominent Australiana were Masons including some governors, judges, bankers and even an Archbishop and several Right Reverends. Details about this can be read in The Masonic Grandmasters Of Australia (1988, Kent Henderson).

Accurate membership statistics of Masonry are not easy to get. The following chart was put together from many sources and may not be accurate.
 

FREEMASONRY: PROGRESSIVE MEMBERSHIP ESTIMATES
Date
World
USA
Canada
Australia
1830
 
5,000
   
1911
 
1,375,000
   
1914
2,000,000
     
1930
4,000,000
3,300,000
200,000
 
1945
 
2,565,000
   
1975
5,000,000
   
350,000
1990
6,000,000
   
60,000


The Pope excommunicated the Freemasons in 1738 and this stayed in force until the 1980s. During that period Christians have released a steady stream of anti Mason booklets.

The main complaint seems to be that the only criteria for membership are belief in one God and having a good reputation. In consequence there are many Masons who deny the Christian belief in the divine origin of the Bible. Some also put Christ and other deities on the same level.

For example:

Bacchus died and rose again
On the golden Asian plain,
Osiris rose from out the grave
And thereby mankind did save;
Adonis likewise shed his blood
By the yellow Syrian flood,
Zoroaster brought to birth
Mithra from His Cave of Earth;
And today in Christian Lands
We with them can join hands.
(The Entered Apprentice Handbook, Volume 1, Masonic Handbook Series , J S M Ward

Mr Murray denied that Freemasonry is a religion: "It would be good if we were a religion because it would then be tax exempt." He said that the rituals are based on religious texts but Freemasonry is not a religion.

However, opinions here differ and we cite the following as a sample:

"Masonry is a religious institution; its ceremonies are part of a really religious worship." (Mackey's Encyclopedia 1909, Moss & Co. Philadelphia, p. 60)

"A few private lodges append to the application a pledge to the effect that the applicant believes the Holy Scriptures to be of divine import, etc. All this is irregular and unmasonic." (Webb’s Freemason's Monitor 1902, Rob Morris, Ed., p.16)

"It is anti-Masonic to require any religious test other than to believe in a God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe." (Chase’s Digest of Masonic Law, p. 208)

"A Brother may legitimately say, if he wishes – and many do say – 'Masonry is my religion'." (The Masonic Initiation, W L Wilmhurst p. 3)

"It seems to me that it's more like a club for the boys." (Opinion of a Minister interviewed by Investigator)
 

Although normally people of any religion are eligible for Masonic membership, there are exceptions. In the state of Utah (USA), for example, Mormons are not admitted. This is because Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, was a Mason and incorporated Masonic ritual into the Mormon Temple ritual.

Freemasons are sworn to secrecy. Each rank or Degree take different oaths of the penalty they deserve if they divulge Masonic secrets. This is another objection Christians sometimes have against Masonry since the Bible seems to be against the taking of oaths. (Matthew 5:33-37; James 5:12)

The oath of the "Fellow-Craft Degree" (the 2nd Degree) is:

"under no less a penalty than having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air."

The oaths seem to get more blood curdling at higher levels and include eyes being torn from sockets and hands being chopped off.

We asked Mr Murray about them since he must have made thirty of these ferocious commitments by now. However, Mr Murray neither confirmed nor denied the taking of oaths – since this is one of the secrets that have to be kept.

Masons usually do not engage in membership drives. It must have been in desperation, therefore, that Freemasons placed an ad last year in the Portside Messenger (an Adelaide paper) inviting newcomers.

Mr Murray confirmed that Masonry in South Australia had declined from 20,000 to 10,000.

Incidentally, the "world war three" claim came up in a court trial in Queensland. The person involved was "totally eccentric" and "believed life on Earth was ruled by outer planetary beings." (The Advertiser May 14) Perhaps, therefore, we won't find World War III at the Lodge.
 

(Editors)




FREEMASONRY EXPOSED

(Investigator 100, 2005 January)


Your article from Investigator 20 on Mr Murray and Freemasonry has gone on line.

In the article are errors not told because of the secrecy requirement of Freemasons. As before changing sex I was a practising Freemason I can clear this up without breaking any obligations I have taken.

Masonry in Australia and most of the Western World has 33 degrees, but not all of these are worked upon the candidate.

After becoming a 5th degree Mason in the Royal Arch Chapter if a Mason then joins another group within Freemasonry called the Rosicrucians the 18th degree is worked and the 6th to 17th degrees are conferred without being worked. The next step is to that of 30th degree which is worked, with the 19th to 29th degrees being conferred but not worked.

In the USA they have what are called Scottish Rite Cathedrals where these other degrees are often worked so that the members can see how these degrees operate. However, in Australia due to the low numbers of Freemasons it is rare for these degrees to be worked.

The above information has not in any way broken my obligations of secrecy to Freemasonry.

I wish you well for your 100th edition.

Millissa Melkart
 


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