Wombaticus Rex wrote:
The Catholics, it should be noted, are the exact reason why the Freemasons and the Perfectibilists were "secret societies" in the first place: because of vulgarians like Tertullian, Torquemada, or Michael Hoffman. Men who could look at Sacred geometry and basic science, the very language of nature, and see only Satanic evil. Men who would torture and murder for the glory of God's Love. It's pathetic. And it's catching.
The sick joke, of course, is the double-edged sword of secrecy. Plenty of conspiracies have been created my men of pure heart and honest intention, who woke up years later to realize there was a whole other
circus going on under their tent. Wheels within wheels, right? I would imagine Masonry suffers from similar afflictions. (The FBI is another great example of this principle at work, although arguably they started off as a corrupted Mafia-military intel hybrid to begin with.)
If Masons are only earnest esoteric seekers rooted in humble and normal lives, then their veil of secrecy is sadly outdated and they're missing out on some great conversations. However, based on my experiences, I agree with Twlya's point: "Most of those have as much interest in and understanding of the symbolism as my cat." There is a baser goal and it's (transparently) a mix of professional standing and personal power.
At the end of days, though, it doesn't matter at all what the content of the secrets really is: the fact they see the need to hold them at all is damning enough in 2010's eyes.
I was born into an active masonic family and in my teen years I participated in a number of groups, mainly girl's groups like Rainbow Girls, and I was also once a member of Eastern Star, etc. Haven't been in a masonic lodge for years ...although I have participated in informal ceremonialist groups and been a guest at OTO and GD lodges since.
I was reading stuff about magic as a kid so when I first set foot in a lodge, I realized right away what could potentially go on. It was a little disconcerting to realize the adults around me had absolutely no clue.
As masonic brats we often could run around the place unattended while our parents were at practices, etc. I would read rituals on the sly and see rooms set up for ceremonies. Having read plenty about the inquisition, I understood that at one time these symbols had to remain hidden, but I began, even then, to question the secrecy and exclusivity that made it unavailiable to others in the present.
Yes, secrecy is a double edged sword. I am glad for the internet and forums such as these. There is no need for secrecy any longer, and at a certain point the obsessive need for secrecy becomes either a liability or an indicator of a potentially sinister process.
I think that has been one of my most frustrating points in conversation with the otherwise quite sane ceremonialists that I have discussed this with (Sam Webster, whom I DO respect for his writings on buddhist influence on modern magic, being the most prominent among a few less-published others...I am a rarity in the small, incestuous ceremonialist world; someone who actually came from a masonic background, a fact that makes me question the knee-jerk ZOMG 'all masons are magicians' tirades of the CT'ers). We would always reach this point in conversation where I would question the secrecy and the lack of female involvement (mainstream masonry and it's works somehow 'feminist' or 'goddess worshipping'?, my ass) and I would get to a stone wall. They liked
the male only enviroment, the boy's club and the secrets.
As long as the appeal to a secret treehouse hide-out with no girls allowed and mucho connections to power exists, I fear masonry will continue in this rather unproductive and possibly destructive path. Personally, I am foursquare for openness and think that anyone who desires to explore that trove of preserved western symbolism and esotericism should have access divorced from power politics that have historically muddied the waters and polluted the fonts of whatever western gnosis survived the inquisitors.