FreeMasons and Orthodoxy

Patristic theology, and traditional teachings of Orthodoxy from the Church fathers of apostolic times to the present. All forum Rules apply. No polemics. No heated discussions. No name-calling.

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Makis
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Postby Makis » Wed 17 March 2004 8:00 am

Dear Tessa,

First of all, many, many congratulations with your pregnancy!!

Second, I have a question for you: How do you know that Patriarch Bartolomew is a mason? Has he told you so?
I know that this "info" is all around on websites like these, but I haven't seen any proof whatsoever on this.
Same thing goes for the alleged membership of the Serbian Metropolitan you mentioned.
These allegations are often and easely made, but where is the proof for them?

Please note, I am not saying that they aren't freemasons, I just would like to see some solid proof for it (and not something like Father so-and-so or Vladika such-and-such has said so).

What you said about Gavrilo Princip is most probably true, because the likelyhood of a peasant's son (and, if I remember well, at that time a student in Serbia proper) being a member of a lodge in Austrian-occupied Bosnia is very slim.
I guess though that at that time there was a lodge in Bosnia, due to the Austrian "presence" there.

If you haven't read it, I really can advice you to read "Black lamb and grey falcon" by Rebecca West.
It is describing a trip R.W. made in the late thirties together with her husband through Yugoslavia.
It also discribes a meeting she had with the sister of Princip, who told her a lot of things about the personal background of Gavrilo.
One of the most interesting things was that Princip did NOT have TB before he was arrested, but contracted it in prison.
Furthermore, the book states that Princip was NOT a member of Crna Ruka of Apis, but one of many Serbian patriots willing to do something (perhaps anything) against the Austrian oppression of Bosnia.
He and his comrades did receive their weapons though from Apis (or one of his representatives).

In Christ,

Makis

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Postby John the Russian » Thu 18 March 2004 12:38 pm

I think proving somebody is a mason would be a difficult thing to do. I doubt they have a registration list that can be accessed by the general public.

Christopher
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Postby Christopher » Fri 14 May 2004 6:16 pm

I just wanted to tell a little about my experiences with the Masons:

I was involved with an organization called DeMolay (Jacques DeMolay was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar) which is roughly the junior masons. They meet in masonic lodges and all of their meetings can be attended by masons. I was later the president of the florida state demolay assoc and was present at several of the international meetings. I later sent a letter to their international headquarters asking that they remove me from their records and that I disavowed any connection or membership.

The masons at the lower levels-- called "blue lodges" in common speech (first three degrees) are pretty much a good ol boys club like moose lodges etc. Most of them in my area are rednecks and from when I've visited masonic lodges in other states, the same seemed to be applicable. I would not call any of these people demon worshippers or anything like that-- most don't know any theology at all and are protestant christians.

The state level of blue lodge, called "grand lodge" is composed of very rich masons who want some esteem within the organization. They get a big hullabaloo at the annual grand lodge meetings but again, nothing theological.

The blue lodge states that one must "believe in a supreme being" to join-- and no other religious restrictions are imposed. Inside a masonic lodge, you will find chairs against the walls with a raised dais with chairs for the senior officers and an altar in the middle with a bible on top of it.

Here's where it gets a little sticky. The masonic "canons" state that there can be up to 33 degrees. Degrees 4 through 32 are called "Scottish Rite" masons. You get to see a "play" for every degree. To join Scottish Rite, just pay some extra dues, watch your plays and you are there. In the plays, there are some veiled references to ancient babylonian and other pagan deities.

Here's where it all goes bad. There is a 33rd degree-- these are the highest officers of the scottish rite-- and there are only 33 of them. There is a special degree for initiation into this. It was written along with degrees 4-32 by Albert Pike, a noted mason. He often stated that the degrees were to reveal mysteries (sort of like dionysian rites of ancient greece). The first three degrees are intentionally misleading but more and more is revealed as the degrees go higher and it finally culminates at the 33rd degree with outright references to ba'al worship. The masons are in essence modern day gnostics.

Albert Pike wrote seveal books on "masonic philosophy/theology"-- most of which you should be able to find in a library. He is THE leading figure in this. To give you an example of his prominence, there is only one memorial to a confederate general in our nation's capital-- one to Albert Pike.

As for orthodox church, the church is extremely against a member joining the masons. Many saints have written against the masons. It is interesting the there are only a few specific heresies specifically warned against in the New Testament and gnosticism is one of them-- and this is masonic religion at the highest level. Please let me reiterate once more that most of the masons locally will know nothing of the theology and just enjoy the "fraternity."

One last thing, when you try to research masonry, you mostly get conspiracy theory stuff. Most (I said MOST) of these people are quacks and it is very difficult to dig out the truth. Believe it or not, you will actually get more truth visiting a masonic website than you will a conspiracy theory website for the most part. If you want to see the 33 degree stuff, look up "house of the temple" located in Washington DC-- the actual website, not the conspiracy stuff.

--Chris

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Tessa
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Postby Tessa » Fri 14 May 2004 8:44 pm

Very intersting. :P
Господе Исусе Христа, Синe Божји, Помилуј ме грешну!

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Aristokles
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Postby Aristokles » Sat 15 May 2004 8:13 am

Salsero,
I need to add some to your pretty good post about freemasonry. There are some understandable inaccuracies in your post, however.
The modern masonic lodge began in England in the early 18th century (with a sister lodge in France). It is a fraternity which mythologically constituted itself to be a continuation of the old REAL stonemason lodges (guilds) of medieval Europe). One sees weird terms like "ancient, free and accepted masons" (A. & .F M. or AF&AM) with the lodges today. 'Ancient' is meant to source the organization all the way back to the builders of King Solomon's Temple ( a laughable stretch), 'free' meant real, practising artisans, and 'accepted' (what they all are really) non-working stonemasons accepted as if they are real artisans. A club. There are only THREE 'Degrees' in freemasonry- Entered Apprentice, Jouneyman, and Master Mason. -period no more.
All state Grand Lodges in the USA got their charter from the Grand Lodge of England. Freemasonry, by charter and and rules does not recognize degrees above the Third.
Masonry is by charter a non-political organisaton and seems, as your redneck comment implies, a blue-collar club. It is.
It does have many trappings borrowed from real liturgical entities.
Yes, the first requirement is belief in a "Supreme Being" or Architect. The Roman Catholic Church condemns freemasonry I believe more from their purported old connections to the Knights Templar (Jac Demolay) and perhaps the old Cathars. The Orthodox Catholic Church more properly condemns the lodge as "false ecumenism". Indeed, the Church is correct here. Big time. While an Entered Apprentice learns that the lodge is not a church or religion per se and his first oath begins with a disclaimer that no part of that oath or any other will conflict with his duty to "his God, his family, or his country" (in that order), the lodges are easily controverted into quasi-religious entites. They have rules like no alcohol, no politics, etc. and are steeped with liturgical trappings and symbolism easily taken in a religious context. When the British Empire took India the English officers, nearly all masons, set up their lodges but soon found they wanted their native NCOs in the lodges. At this point ANY book held holy by the oath-taker entering a lodge was made acceptable for lodge purposes. Whatever a hindu lodge would deem was used for hindus, the Koran in others, the Bible in Christian lodges, etc. You see, the holy books are symbols only - like the compass and square. All sit on a lodge's 'altar' , but the Bible is never opened or read-it's a symbolic prop. As a fraterniy the lodges are harmless; but as they can be mistaken by the easily led, they are dangerous.
What about "Degrees 4 - 33" ? Enter the "Shrine" - the Shriners. The Shriners exist only in America - the grand lodge in England denies it is part of freemasonry and all state lodges in the US disavow the Shrine. However, to be a Shriner one must be a Freemason in good standing (paying your dues). If you're into conspiracy stuff, here's probably some grist for you (although I suspect some masonic lodges 'down South' were the origin of the KKK). Shriners are generally wealtier - they are known as the rich masons' club. They ARE political, do drink (alot) and raise hell, and do try to affect legislation. There are two rites "into" the Shrine - York and Scottish. York Rite is for Christians ONLY and Scottish is for anyone including Christians. Some Shriners go in both ways. They, like the masons, do alot of community good charity-wise. BUT I recoiled when I saw that ALL of its trapping come from the CRUSADES. In no way would I extol any organisation which glorified any of the Franks' evil deeds. Period.
The Church is right - these organistions, seeming innocuous, are to be avoided.
If you folks want, I can later explain how the lodges were used by the early Greek immigrants in the USA (until their own AHEPA formed and took the lodges' place). On another night of insomnia, of course.

Demetri

Joseph D
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Postby Joseph D » Tue 18 May 2004 4:08 pm

Demetri,

Just a sidebar, and yes I have heard of the Fourth Crusade; yet I do not believe fighting Saladin, the Moors, Islamic enterprise would be classified of any necessity as an "evil"-doing (even in spite of any public apologies made by Church Regulars [of any rank] to Mislims at large). The Franks did more against Islam than the Levantine Christians ever did, who seem largely to have prefered a passive conversion to any violent alternative. Richard the Lionheart is one of history's great men, a hero for every Christian. Greedy villians may have been known in the crusades, which is so unfortunate, but true. Although... If these crusades had been undertaken by Russians, say, the idyllic struggle for good against evil would have pitted an army of bravest Saints against the devil's own Black Hordes.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
Were still at odds, being but three.
Until the goose came out of door,
And stay'd the odds by adding four. :P

Sincerely:
Joseph

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Aristokles
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Postby Aristokles » Tue 18 May 2004 7:39 pm

Joseph D wrote:Demetri,

Just a sidebar, and yes I have heard of the Fourth Crusade; yet I do not believe fighting Saladin, the Moors, Islamic enterprise would be classified of any necessity as an "evil"-doing (even in spite of any public apologies made by Church Regulars [of any rank] to Mislims at large). <..............snipped.....................> Although... If these crusades had been undertaken by Russians, say, the idyllic struggle for good against evil would have pitted an army of bravest Saints against the devil's own Black Hordes.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
Were still at odds, being but three.
Until the goose came out of door,
And stay'd the odds by adding four. :P

Sincerely:
Joseph

Well Joseph,
It is a matter of one's perspective. While I am very aware of the history of the 4th Crusade in some depth, I was referring to all of them. "Recovering the Levant for Christianity" seemed just mean "Establishing Rome in the Levant"- complete with new Latin Patriarchates, ending with that tactic being used at Constantinople. Failing that format, the "unia" was attempted to better success for Rome. Now that the "unia" tactic seems to have run its course, they're back to new patriarchates., maybe, we'll see....

Demetri


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