[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: March 1999

       Name:: Laura
     E-mail:: epona82@hotmail.com
   Location:: Arkansas, USA
Lodge Loc'n:: 
       RQFC?: No
    Message:: Hello, I am requesting that people respond to my inquiry
even though it is not academic, it is spiritual.

I am not a mason, as I am female (though my mother is a 32 degree mason)but my fiance just reached 3rd degree.

I have serious reservations about the Mason tradition after I met a few masons (not upstanding people and known girlfriend beaters along with cheaters) and I visited the local lodge to find upside down pentacles.

The upside down pentacles decorating every wall is a serious concern as that is associated with Satanists.

I am learning more about Wicca (a slight relation to the beginnings os masonary as my research has shown)and those I have conferred with support my worries about the pentacles. My fiance, of course, will tell me nothing as he took an oath to not reveal any Masonic secrets and this lack of defense concerns me all the more.

The fact that Masons close their prayers with a Wiccan line "So mote it be." leads me to believe tha they do work with some rituals or ceremonies and possibly spells.

I would like to feel my fiance's soul is safe and not being used for Satan. Please respond. My concerns are genuine and I only want to protect my fiance. Thank you and I apologize if you take offense to my question.

From: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
To: epona82@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Freemasonry Guest Book (No) epona82@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 19:55:42 EST

There is a TON of info at my website about Masonry. Your boyfriend can tell you more about Masonry than he thinks. Most new Masons don't understand that only the "signs and tokens" of recognition are secret, and the actual instructional lectures are held close, but all our teachings and symbolism are described and published in many published books and pamphlets and lectures. Go to my website pointers page and look for the Grand Lodge of England -- they have just put up a bunch of new pamphelts on-line about Masonry that will answer many of your questions.

The "upside down pentacle" is the emblem of the Order of the Eastern Star. It has no wiccan or pagan significance in that order. Symbols can be used for different things by different groups. Do you think the pre-Columbian Anasazi Indians of the American southwest were Nazis in 5000 BC?: They used the emblem of the swastika. Do you think a peace movement that uses a dove symbol intends to symbolize the "Holy Spirit" of Roman Catholic theology? You might want to look up Dr. Gary Leazar's report to the Baptist Convention about his researches into Masonry. You might be surprised.

I again thank you for your coorespondence, but I would like to comment on your suggested website. My masonic boyfriend and I looked at the site together as he was also interested in the answers it would possibly give. We read together the pamplets on Ceremonies, what Freemasonary is, and how it began and then he looked at me and asked, So what did you learn? Were your questions answered? I turned to him and replied, "Nothing, it answered nothing." He laughed and agreed with me! He said it was the most vague descriptions he had ever read and only those lacking in intelligence would be fooled into thinking they had actually obtained any real information. He followed this by stating that the masons would always be secret and wouldn't tell a soul the secrets, even to those they love. My intelliegence and college education was not fooled and I believe my boyfriend's comments.

Now as his future wife, this concerns me a small amount. I do not believe in secrets in a relationships though I will acknowledge that sometimes there is a need for it, safety, security, saving of harsh feelings; but to hide the path to the light and truth? My mother, one of the rare masons (yes, a true mason of 32 degree) says that it is merely a group of men wanting to feel better/superior than everyone else. That they achieve this feeling by having secret handshakes, words, ceremonies, but no real truth is found. Now to me this appears that maybe she missed the whole point, and I do admit that my mother is lacking in I guess I will call it a strong spiritual call. But my point is that I do believe it has to do with a spiritual search and my boyfriend agrees with me, for that is his reason for joining.

I do not direct this as a belittling tactic, nor do I consider myself an anti-mason, I am merely searching for the truth. And a lesson I have learned in my life is that those who avoid letting people know what the "truth" is, are not telling the truth.

A scetion on the site mentioned a book of rules or constitution that ANYONE has permission to read. My boyfriend again laughed and stated even he has yet to view it! Maybe this is a difference between Britain and the American Freemasonary, but as your address is at MIT I am wondering if you are not also an American Freemason.

I am sorry my letter is so lengthy and I promise that I only have one more point/query. Last night my boyfriend and I viewed an A&E special on the masons. It gave recreations of rituals and ceremonies, including the one my boyfriend had recently performed. I was horrified when the look on his face confirmed that what I was watching was actually true! I understand the need for secrecy in some aspects, as I am a member of a greek sorority and a group looking for the truth and light, but for those who seriously want to know what goes on in our meetings and gatherings, they can know. For those with true and strong concerns are allowed to view and decide for themselves.

I can see how I can easily become a supporter of the masons, especially as I believe in supporting my boyfriend in all that he does, but how can I truly support something I know nothing about and am only given vague nondescriptive answers to my queries?

To tell you the truth I am not sure what I am exactly searching for, but I do feel that my boyfriend has a truly kind and pure heart and soul and I want it to stay that way.

I again thank you for your time. I apologize if you took offense to any of my statements.


From: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Message-Id: <199904032336.SAA18443@thelonious>
To: "Laura Culp" <epona82@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Freemasonry Guest Book (No) epona82@hotmail.com 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 02 Apr 1999 15:52:50 PST."
Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999 18:36:30 EST


Sorry I don't have time to answer such a long letter point by point. This is not my profession and I have to fit it in around my real work.

I am also sorry that your husband's lodge has done such a poor job of educating him. That situation is more and more common as many men who see Masonry as little more than a dinner society have come to dominate the craft and encourage like-minded souls to join. The core of Masonry is a philosophy of absolute integrity, free-thought and freedom of conscience, gratitude love and awe of our Creator, responsibility to the well-being of humanity, and an intimate knowledge of our own inevitable mortality. These points are taught slowly and subtly, and made irrevocably real in the soul of the true Mason, not by preaching and exhortation, but by symbol, legend, action, and example.

Sometimes it's hard for even dedicated Masons to put into words the effects those lessons have had upon them over many years.

Finally, Masonry is not (or at least should not be) some proseltyzing sect, intent on attracting everyone into it. It is a path that is available to those who see the value of it, and those who do not will not be condemned or persecuted for simply avoiding it. If you do not find it attractive, that is a matter for your conscience alone. I don't mean this indifference as rude, but as extremely respectful: I would no more presume to tell you that you have to like or revere Masonry than I would dare to tell you what you should eat, how you should worship, how much you should weigh, or how you should dress.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus GL Mass.
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  |   & Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden ""
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not;
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|     "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|      whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|      or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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