True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Understanding the Fanatic Mindset

Over the years on the Internet since I was raised a Master Mason, I have had the occasional… pleasure, of dealing with fanatics. Fanatic antimasons of the Catholic stripe, of the evangelical whatever stripe, and of the tin foil hat brigades (though to be fair, it is often hard to tell them apart).

We have all been treated to their hateful, unjustifiable defamations and slanders, and it has always surprised me, the amount of just plain kookiness they can dredge up. Part of it, I am sure, can be laid at the foot of Internet anonymity.

There is a definite lack of civility on the Internet, as if, because they are hidden, anonymous, people can write and spew the most vile and disgusting words and behaviors. I just read an article by Dennis Prager, which posits that the very anonymity of the Internet is the reason and cause for the very lack of civility that creates the hatemongers that slam Freemasons at every turn.

“Being identifiable breeds responsibility; anonymity breeds irresponsibility.

That is why people -- even generally decent people -- tend to act so much less morally when in a crowd (the crowd renders them anonymous). That is why people tend to act more decently when they walk around with their names printed on a nametag. That is why people act more rudely when in their cars -- they cannot be identified as they could outside of their car. There is no question but that most people would write very different entries on the Internet if their names were printed alongside their submission.”(1)

There is something more to this antimasonic nuttery, more than can be explained by the anonymity of the Internet, though that contributes in large part to the absolutely vile things that people claiming to be Christian post to and about us. That something more may be the very thing that creates them… their faith.

Faith is a wonderful thing, and a carpenter turned Rabbi is said to have stated that faith alone the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (by the way, how does one measure the size of faith?) Faith that becomes fanaticism, however, is dangerous, and the fanatics are the one I am referencing here.

These are the men, and women, who will do anything, commit any fraud, slander, defame and do ANYTHING to win. These are the scary people, and there may be a reason for their fanaticism. Fear.

They fear, not Masons, but themselves, and the way they validate their decision and faith is to attempt to convert others to their faith or belief. For instance, the tin foil hat Konspiracy Kook. Somewhere in the sane part of their brain, they realize that what they believe is a bit… off, that it sounds crazy even to them. So they run out and try to convince themselves by trying to convert the world.

“...How do you get more people to join than quit? One way is by having current members proselytize. The fastest-growing denominations, Mr. Twitchell says, are "selling, selling, selling." They are "foregrounding growth as a sign of value." As he explains: "Missionary zeal is at the heart of their attraction not only because showing the Way to others is a source of jubilation but because it means that you yourself must have found your way. The value of the next sale (the convert) proves the value of the previous sale (yours)." It all comes down to a kind of narcissism....”(2)

“I think the insecurity comes through, as with fundi Christians, the lack of proof. They are told to simply "believe", never question. Without questions, and answers that make sense, there is no true validation. That creates doubt. Doubt leads to the fear that they are, perhaps, "wrong", and there fore, sinful. Sinfulness leads to fear, in a neverending cycle. No wonder the poor things are confused.”(3)

Missionary zeal is a bad thing. It is intolerant. In a free society, however, the free exchange of ideas holds a place for such. What a free society has no place for is hatemongering fools taking advantage of the anonymity offered by a mature society to spew vile and vicious lies in the name of whatever g-d or theory they happen to worship.

As Freemasons, taught by a peculiar system of morality, veiled by allegory and illustrated by symbols, it is our duty and our obligation to show the light of Freemasonry, not by converting, not by missionary zeal in ourselves, but by the demonstration in our daily lives of the honor, integrity and value of our ancient and honorable fraternity.

Thus we can demonstrate to the world that upon becoming Master Masons we have become better men.

May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular Masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us.

References:

(1) Internet Anonymity Is as Destructive as Internet Porn. By Dennis Prager, Townhall.com, Tuesday, October 23, 2007,

(2) A Congregation of Customers, By Naomi Schaefer Riley, Opinion Journel.com, Tuesday, October 23, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

(3) Maximus, Post #2, Novus Ordo Saeculorum

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will posit that we also have our Masonic fanatics to tell us just who is more masonically inclined, or who has the more authentic Craft.

Love,

Rubelo

Theron Dunn said...

Oh, yes there are a few who think their version of freemasonry is better than, well, any other regular brothers masonry. I could name names and point fingers, but that would be... well, unmasonic.

Anonymous said...

Then again we have Brothers who's blind devotion to thier GL causes them to be rather rabid zealots, like the kind history witnessed at Jonestown.

BC 2006

Theron Dunn said...

Yes, BC, you seem to be well on the way to becoming a poster child for that behavior...

Gary Kerkin (New Zealand) said...

I think the three groups I dislike (fear?) most are bigots, zealots and CEOs with with egos.
Do I understand them? Possibly. Do I appreciate them? Definitely not!
However, for this and other reasons, my wife insists I keep a little homily on my study wall: God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Anonymous said...

Theron,
Now you are resoting to cheap attacks? It would seem that the chickens are coming home to roost.

BC 2006

The Relevant Mason said...

Well done again Brother Theron...its funny though...don't speak their name lest they appear and all.

giovanni lombardo said...

Humanity longs for certainties, and religions offer them.
Therefore some people are wrapped in their own cocoon and fear everything which might tear it.
It is very difficult to make them reason because they should change their attitude in a radical manner.
Fear is a feeling, as such it is settled in the heart, not in the brain.
Even if some people are conscious of this, they refuse to change mind because they don't want to admit their mistakes.

SPHINX524 said...

Great Blog Brother!

It amazes me how and what people think about us. I believe that all Anti-Masons actually fear us. Not in the sense of being scared, but for our tolerance of religion and our system of morality. Granted we have issues (recognition, regularity..etc) but for the most part, we are tolerable to one another.
If you stop to think about it, just about every religion has a problem with another religion, and many wars have been fought because of religion. The religions that have a problem with each other, also has a problem with freemasonry. On the same token, facists have hated masons as well. One of the most evil men to have ever lived (Adolf Hitler) was against Freemasonry. If we were sooooo evil and wanted to rule the world, then surely would would have had Hitler as member!

How can a Fraternity of men cause so much hate and discontent, to even being hated by some of the most evil men in the world. Could it be that we actually stand for something that dosen't involve a Religious or Government igurehead?

Please...someone, anyone answer.

oh really? said...

I approached a masonic lodge with the utmost respect and sure enough a black cube was cast on my petition.

I'm not a fanatic, but I am gay.

One chooses to be a mason, one cannot however choose their sexual orientation.

Although I really can't identify with the gay community at all, if you think the vile hatred that comes out of these PROFANE'S mouths is deplorable to your existence in this world, by all means, as a test of your own sanity, come and "choose" to be gay in the public eye. After your act is over, you will shout with the utmost joy that you have true brothers to help you in your journey through life.


Supposedly we're trying to take over the world as well. Gay couple in soap operas? Oh yes, it's a war on "true" christian values right?

At best, for me, it's been the ultimate test of faith, for if I had none, this light that's so well revered, simply would not shine.






 
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