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BBC - The Secrets of the Freemasons

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In Secrets of the Masons, cameras for the first time go behind the doors of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Scotland, in Edinburgh, the home of freemasonry, and lift the veil on the inner secrets of this normally closed world. With exclusive access to its 400-year-old archive, its members around the country and its grand master, who presides over 1,000 lodges and 100,000 Scottish Freemasons worldwide, we film at lodge meetings, the selection of new candidates and the installation of grand masters.

This documentary explores the truth about an organisation characterised by many for funny handshakes and rolled trouser legs, and by others as a dangerous, secret society, "the hidden hand that has shaped Scotland".

We discover famous Scots whose careers have been "helped" by being masons, including Robert Burns and leading light in the Scottish Enlightenment, James Watt. Deputy Scottish Grandmaster Ramsay McGee, ex assistant chief constable of Northern Constabulary, remembers when, in the 1970s, 50 per cent of the force under him were masons. But he defends the close links between freemasonry and the police - "I could argue all policemen should be masons, it would make them much better men!"

In the bomb-proof safes below the grand lodge in Edinburgh's George Street, archivist Robert Cooper, in white gloves, finds the original minutes of the first lodge meeting in 1598. We trace how this organisation grew from stonemasons to freemasons, became enshrined in America, where 40 per cent of presidents have been masons, was banned by the Pope and Hitler, and "done in", in Robert Cooper's words, by Dan Brown. And we ask if its lasting legacy is less its influence and more its secrecy.

uploaders note:
of course no secrets are shown and this is pretty much a PR piece but some might find it of interest


Do we trust Altiyan Childs or the BBC...?

zoopenhoff wrote:

Do we trust Altiyan Childs or the BBC...?

take no fuckers word. look at stuff yourself, asssess it and make yer own mind up.
As I said about this, it's pure PR fluff but has some interesting historical tidbitts.
Altiyan Childs make no new allegations at all. it's the same old , same old stuff it seems. no new meaty allegations that you can look into and learn something new from. his stance is an unashamedly fundamentalist christian view. his claims about locations of MTV HQ and it's relationship to a building .. very tenuous at best and disengenuous in a way.
He would foam and froth about anyone who is not from his demonination I would imagine as everyone else just gets it wrong due to -insert heretical ad hominens here for other demoninations and their origins- .
but, as i said, i look at the stuff by both sides of a debate and make up my own mind about stuff
This thougfh is pure PR fluff and i suppose an advert for the lodge in Scotland, so just take it as that and see if there's anything new to take from it as a jumping off point to look into new stuff asa tangent from it.

yy'all forgot to say,

aNd tHeY CoNtRoL tHe WoRlD, mUWaHaHahA

As someone who has done a deep dive into freemasonry (literally have been inside of and spent time exploring the nooks and crannies of every Masonic temple in the Bay Area), as well as Golden Dawn / O.T.O. I can state unequivocally that he is not misstating anything in that video.

When I was a child, learning my part as the role of Jacques DeMolay for the "big play" that we put on, I always wondered why we were told the stories of how the Knights Templar were executed for having Baphomets and defiling Bibles and kissing each other on the bunghole. I thought it rather odd as a 16-year old "why are you telling me this if they did not in fact do those things?", but no, that's the party line of the Freemasons "we didn't do ANYTHING and the bad old King just started killing on us and hanged our poor innocent Jacques… Oh Jacques! 😭"

Bay Area Golden Dawn temple is run by a 31° Mason. Masons permeate the O.T.O., Rosicrucians too. The esoteric ones like to collect degrees in every mystery school they can access. Masonic temples are full of esoteric/kabbalistic symbolism, and boy do some of them flaunt their extensive resources and real estate holdings. Every town in Amerika, you'll find them, same as cockroaches and rodents…

It's hardly a secret, all you have to do is ask to get in. After your initiations, if you pick up the esoteric clues, if you figure out where they get their "light", you'll find yourself invited into ever smaller circles. If not, you'll remain in the social club, never offered further clues. It is, after all, a carefully designed filter system. Is it the top of the pyramid? Hardly, but, the <10,000 at the top need a several million middle managers to run the planetary op. IMO that's where the Masons come in.

conspyre wrote:

Is it the top of the pyramid? Hardly, but, the <10,000 at the top need a several million middle managers to run the planetary op. IMO that's where the Masons come in.

I like your write-up, and agree with it for the most part.

To expand on your final point: the "Pareto distribution" serves as a consistent model for understanding wealth distribution in a country. Note that I am not referring to the so-called "Pareto principle" or "80-20 rule" stating that 80% of outcomes are due to 20% of causes. This "rule" was named in honor of Pareto, but the concepts are distinct, and only Pareto distributions with shape value (α) of log45 ≈ 1.16 precisely reflect it.

Jordan Peterson nicely summarizes the Pareto distribution here:

Or if you prefer to read about it, this page does a grand job:


If you look at creative production in any domain -- number of novels written, number of novels sold, amount of money generated, number of companies generated, number of goals scored in hockey, number of paintings painted, etc -- anything like that where the fundamental underlying measure is human productivity, what you find is a very tiny percentage of people produce almost all the output. This is called a Pareto distribution, which is a square root law. So here’s the law fundamentally: if you look at the number of people who are producing in a given domain, the square root of the people produce half the product. So, if you have ten employees, three of them do half the work, but if you have ten thousand employees, one hundred of them do half the work.

Peterson gives the interesting example of the Monopoly board game: take a thousand people and get them to play a trading game. You give each a hundred dollars, and they have to trade with another person by flipping a coin. In this game, whoever wins the coin toss gives a dollar, so if you win I give you a dollar. Well, he says, if we all play long enough, one person will end up with all the money and everyone else will end up with zero. This is a deeply built feature of systems of creative production and no one really knows what to do about it because, of course, the danger is is that all the resources get funneled to a tiny minority of people at the top and a huge section of the population stacks up at zero. This distribution of money is why one percent of the people in the general population have the overwhelming amount of money, and one tenth of that one percent has almost all of that.

And the point? It’s actually the inevitable consequence of multiple trades that are conducted randomly.

Peterson concludes by saying,

But to blame this inequality on the oppressive nature of a given system is to radically underestimate the complexity of the problem. No one actually knows how to effectively shovel resources from the minority that controls almost everything, to the majority that has almost nothing because as you shovel money down it tends to move right back up, and it’s a big problem.

When I see the few at the top of the financial and political systems, I don't see any creativity, unless you consider theft, fraud, extortion, and bribery to be. I see this distribution to be proportional to the number of psychopaths able to get away with their crimes by demoralising and intimidating the vast majority who are basically decent.

creative means generation and production/productivity, of course.

Altiyan Childs is Christian which sold faith of the parents for money (name of his band is Masonia). When his career is about the end, masons are bad. So you consider this hypocrite as truth seeker?

laneigile wrote:

Altiyan Childs is Christian which sold faith of the parents for money (name of his band is Masonia). When his career is about the end, masons are bad. So you consider this hypocrite as truth seeker?

Not me. I think it is quite funny.

Freemasonry was (and is) a loosely occult network of elite male societies whose various lodges played a crucial role in the development of modern Europe as well as the birth of the United States. Before the War of Independence, Masonic lodges formed perhaps the principal “intercolonial network” for revolutionary leaders; these societies also allowed the explosive ideas cranked out by European Enlightenment intellectuals like Locke, Hume, and Voltaire to trickle down through the ranks. Nearly every American general that rassled with the redcoats was a Mason, as was nearly every signator of the Declaration of Independence and nearly every major contributor to the Constitution. John Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin were all Masons (the jury is still out on Thomas Jefferson). Like Franklin, Washington was a particularly passionate and active Mason, a onetime Grand Master who was inaugurated as president decked out in full Masonic regalia.

Long a topic of febrile speculation. Freemasonry is hardly the insidious leviathan envisioned by some conspiracy buffs. On one level. Masonic lodges simply functioned as the old boy networks of the Age of Reason institutions where ambitious men would gather in order to prop agate and hatch revolutionary new notions about reason, science, and the proper construction of civil society. The God they worshiped was the “Great Architect,” a distant demiurge whose hand was glimpsed, not in scripture, but in the new revelations of natural science. But even as lodge members helped to imagine and construct our secular world, with its anticlerical embrace of science, technology, and individual liberties. Masonic societies also served as the main channel whereby the ideas and psychology of gnostic occultism flowed into the heart of modernity. For the freethinking men of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Freemasonry offered a social structure that bridged rationalism and esoteric mysticism, folding Enlightenment ideals and Deistic science into a ritualistic and deeply hermetic solar cult.

Though redolent with Rosicrucian rumors and tales of Templar knights, the symbols and rituals of “the Craft” principally derive from the traditions and guild structure of medieval stonemasons, whose practical lore was spiritualized by seventeenth-century English aristocrats into “speculative,” or mystical. Masonry. By tracing its origins to Hiram Abiff, the architect of Solomon’s Temple, Masons placed the image of the hermetic engineer at the heart of their mythological worldview. Bud ding lodge members were required to master an elaborate hierarchical system of secret hand signs, ritual tools, esoteric doctrines, and gnostic dramas of self-illumination. As they clamored up this Neoplatonic (and rather corporate) pyramid of grades and degrees, their rising status indicated the increasing, almost geometrical perfection of their souls. Developing themselves into Masonic “sons of light,” these self-illuminated ones transmuted the gnostic impulse from a mystical dream into a systematic social technology of Enlightenment.

Freemasonry based its cosmology on a new image of nature, one that combined old esoteric notions of cosmic order with the new empirical understanding of natural law. Like many scientists of the day. Masons subscribed to the philosophy of Deism, which held that God retired from his creation after constructing the vast machinery of the physical world, leaving men to tinker and improve the cosmic contraption on their own. As Hoeller writes of Deists, “theirs was the Alien God of the Hermeticists and Gnostics, also known at times as Deus Absconditus, ‘the God who has gone away.’ Though Masons worshiped their Great Architect as the Christian God, this absent engineer, whose creation is clearly less than perfect, also resembles the demiurge of Gnostic myth, whose flawed designs could be overcome only by human smarts.

With their perfectionist Prometheanism, Masonic lodges thus brought what the historian David Noble calls the “religion of technology” into the modern secular age. Noble traces the religion of technology to medieval monks who came to believe that human beings and societies can be brought into a paradisal state of Edenic perfection through the proper exploitation of the “useful arts.” Translated into secular terms, which are still very much with us, this millennialist mythology holds that technological and scientific men have a duty to understand, conquer, and tweak the world of nature for the sake of human salvation, both spiritual and practical. As Noble shows. Masons played a disproportionate role in the construction of scientific culture. Lodge members basically founded the Royal Society, the first modern scientific institution, and the generally recognized leader of speculative Freemasonry, John Theophilus Desaguliers, was also an avid natural philosopher and engineer who experimented with electricity, invented the planetarium, and investigated steam power. In England, France, and America, Masons organized scientific lectures, hyped the useful arts, and pushed forward the new encyclopedias and their “diffusion of the light of knowledge,” Through the development and dissemination of the technical arts and sciences, Masons believed that they were helping to build utopia.

As Noble shows. Masons also participated heavily in constructing the educational institutions that gave birth to the modern engineer. “Through Freemasonry, the apostles of the religion of technology passed their practical project of redemption on to the engineers, the new spiritual men, who subsequently forged their own millenarian myths, exclusive associations, and rites of passage.”*^In America, this techno logical evangelism was principally carried forward by Benjamin Franklin, an indefatigable promoter of science and technology and the onetime Grand Master of the French Loge des Neuf Soeurs. Like countless later American Masons, including Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the astronauts John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin, Franklin put into practice America’s cult of the technological sublime. As the American religious scholar Catherine Albanese argues in her discussion of American Masonry, “if any genuinely new popular religion arose in New World America, it was a nature religion of radical empiricism, with the aim of that religion to conflate spirit and matter and, in the process, turn human beings into gods.”

Albanese argues that America’s self-deifying nature religion was not based solely on empirical knowledge or Romanticism or Masonic politics; it also turned on the metaphysical notion of “natural” liberty, a notion which identified the essential freedom of the individual with the supposedly uncultivated wilderness of the new world. “Nature, in American nature religion, is a reference point with which to think his tory,” Albanese writes. “Its sacrality masks—and often quite explicitly reveals—a passionate concern for place and mastery in society. That is, nature’s aboriginal freedom from human society in turn becomes a basis for a new understanding of society, one which emphasizes the naturally endowed sovereignty of the individual and his pursuits. This imaginative and political relationship to the prima materia of virgin territory also helps explain America’s almost mystical obsession with the frontier, an obsession that, as we will see, plays directly into the early mythology of the Internet.

The freemasons are a 'secret society' of a religious nature, whose basic tenet is the brotherhood of man. Originally a society of stoneworkers who travelled around Europe wherever great buildings were being erected, with a system of secret signs for recognising one another, it became the home of occultists, alchemists, astrologers and so on. Readers of War and Peace will remember Peter Bezukhov's encounter with the freemasons when he is in a state of pessimism and exhaustion. Although Tolstoy was not himself a mason, he states their aims with clarity and sympathy: first, the notion of brotherhood: 'No one can attain to truth by himself. Only by laying stone on stone with the co-operation of all [my italics] by the millions of generations from our forefather Adam to our own times, is that temple reared which is to be a worthy dwelling place of the Great God.' This notion of a long secret tradition is of fundamental importance: 'The first and chief object of our Order, the foundation on which it rests and which no human power can destroy, is the preservation and handing on to posterity of a certain important mystery, which has come down to us from the remotest ages, even from the first man – a mystery on which perhaps the fate of mankind depends. But since this mystery is of such a nature that nobody can know or use it unless he be prepared by long and diligent self-purification, not everyone can hope to attain it quickly. Hence we have a secondary aim: that of preparing our members as much as possible to reform their hearts, to purify and enlighten their minds, by means handed on to us by tradition...' He goes on to describe their third aim: the regeneration of mankind. (This is the one that appeals most to Peter.) Then he details the 'seven steps of Solomon's temple.' (There is a close connection between the idea of masons and temples, inevitably.) They are discretion, obedience, morality, love of mankind, courage, generosity, love of death. Peter is enjoined to meditate continually on death, and he finds this the most difficult proposition to swallow.

Tolstoy's description of the initiation rites should also be read by anyone who wants to understand the attraction of freemasonry. To a non-mason, these are bound to sound absurd: the aspirant wears a slipper on one foot and a boot on the other, and is led blindfolded through passages, led along certain carpets to the accompaniment of knockings with mallets and swords, made to hold a pair of compasses against his breast, confronted by men in robes pointing swords at him, made to kneel 'at the gates of the temple,' and so on. At one point, Peter suddenly wonders if it is all a practical joke. Frank King, in his book Cagliostro, the Last of the Sorcerers, summarises Cagliostro's initiation briefly:

The ceremony was very similar to that which is performed in Masonic Lodges today with the addition of several harmless but undignified scenes which were intended to impress the candidate. Thus Joseph was hauled up to the ceiling by a rope and allowed to dangle, signifying his helplessness without divine aid. He was stabbed with a dagger, the blade of which collapsed into its handle, to emphasise the fate which would be his should he betray the secrets of the Order. He had to kneel, divested of his clothing, to show his subservience to the Master of the Lodge.

It can be seen that the freemasons are direct descendants of the Orphics and Pythagoreans. The aim of the initiation is to produce an immense sense of significance and reverence. It is not surprising that, at the end of it all, Tolstoy's hero 'felt as if he had returned from a long journey on which he had spent dozens of years, had become completely changed, and had quite left behind him his former habits and way of life.'

This also makes it clear why the freemasons have always been persecuted, particularly in Catholic countries. The Church may feel that Protestantism and its various sects are bastard offshoots of the parent tree, weak imitations that can never be a real challenge because they cannot offer a real alternative to the immense apparatus of Catholicism. The freemasons were virtually setting up an alternative church that claimed far greater antiquity than Catholicism. The man who joined it felt himself a member of the fundamental Secret Society, guarding the most ancient mystery. The problem of any organised religion is always the same: how to imbue its followers with such a profound sense of purpose that old habits and personality patterns are permanently remoulded. The freemasons did this by using the techniques of the Mysteries of ancient Greece. The initiate would emerge from all this with a sense of being in a neat and orderly universe, where his aims and purposes are suddenly quite definite. A tradition dating back to Adam stands behind him. The notion of the brotherhood of man gives him a new sense of belonging to the human race. What is more, the world is full of brother masons – actively benevolent brothers who will not allow him to sink. This is, of course, an extremely important part of the attraction of any religion, for the craving for security and 'territory' is deeper even than the religious instinct; at least, it demands to be satisfied first in most people. The real power of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages lay in monasteries, where the monks were given this basic 'security of tenure,' so to speak.