Masons jailed in Fiji

July 16th, 2009 at 7:50 am by David Farrar

Sometimes you have to just despair of Fiji:

A New Zealand man spent a “wretched” night in a prison cell after frightened residents and police raided his Freemasons meeting, suspecting witchcraft and sorcery.

The man, who didn’t want to be named, blamed “dopey village people” for the raid in which 14 members of the Freemasons Lodge of Lautoka were herded into police cars and jailed for the night.

I don’t know what is sadder – the ignorance of the villagers or the fact the Police took action.

Police also seized lodge paraphernalia, including wands, compasses and a skull.

Does sound a bit Harry Potterish, but having paraphernalia like that should not lead to you being arrested.

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89 Responses to “Masons jailed in Fiji”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,834 comments) says:

    Fiji has always been like that. These people are relatively primitive and easily incited but you want them to have elections tomorrow and somehow then everything will change.

    Pity you couldn’t give the PM’s office credit for sorting it out quickly.

    [DPF: Are you saying they are too primitive to have a democracy and vote?]

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  2. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Er, yes it should!

    The Masons are not my cup of tea, at all.

    Far too elitist.

    Been asked to join 4 times. Not on your Nelly.

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  3. wreck1080 (3,820 comments) says:

    Well they are concealing the ripper… hope they got a good thrashing too.

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  4. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    “These people are relatively primitive”

    Hang on, the Kiwi bloke was one of those found in possession of a skull and a magic wand and it’s the villagers who are primitive? Wow.

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  5. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Wands, compasses and a skull? Did they hit a green party meeting or something?

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Hang on, the Kiwi bloke was one of those found in possession of a skull and a magic wand and it’s the villagers who are primitive? Wow.

    Heh. But really, if I have a suit of armour in my cigar room, that doesn’t mean I’m primitive, just means I like having a suit of armour in my room :-D But villagers worried about ‘witchcraft’, yeah i’d say that’s a tad primitive.

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  7. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    “villagers worried about ‘witchcraft’, yeah i’d say that’s a tad primitive”

    Perhaps they’re just being good Christians. You know – thou shalt not suffer a witch to live and all that?

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  8. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Murray – nah couldn’t be the greens, a compass means you’re intending to build something.

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  9. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Didn’t know about that one bearhunter. Possible. Lots of Methodists in Fiji (maybe someone can say whether that means something?), but OTOH the villagers could just be pagans, who knows.

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  10. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Okay
    So the methods slightly different but…
    In Fiji the police acted and investigated a group of people, all the while being friendly and chatty and the PM steps in and sorts it out…
    While in NZ recently…
    The PM orders the police and SIS to investigate a religious group and one of her ministers insulted them by calling them “chinless scarf wearers” trolling through their personal and professional lives and humiliating them in public becaus eof the actions of a small number of them…

    Yp DPF you have to despair of Fiji hey?

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  11. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    Pia – a compass means you’re trying to navigate…compasses are your basic masons’ measuring tool. I’m mildly surprised that the harold managed to get that bit right.

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  12. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Do you guys find it strange that we have this intolerance for the beliefs and laws of Fiji, yet it does not rate a mention when people are burnt in “kitchen fires” or killed for religious beliefs in Islamic countries?

    I am not a Christian but damn they get a raw deal. Maybe that says something about their religion …
    But I think it just says something about the rest of us.

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  13. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    When I read the title of the thread, I assumed it was a political thing.

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  14. Rich Prick (1,635 comments) says:

    Indeed Bok. Nor do I recall the usual suspects getting in a lather over our very own religious water-boarding case.

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  15. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Do you guys find it strange that we have this intolerance for the beliefs and laws of Fiji, yet it does not rate a mention when people are burnt in “kitchen fires” or killed for religious beliefs in Islamic countries?

    My intolerance is more for when their beliefs impact on people minding their own business (the Masons) and the ‘laws’ don’t even appear to be an issue here, the cops just chucked them in prison because they don’t need a reason to do so if it’s for less than 48 hours – charming.

    Why did you put ‘kitchen fires’ in inverted commas? This story rates a mention because of the NZ connection, see also ‘Kiwi on Johnny Depp’s yacht’ and ‘Kiwi crushed in trash compactor’ for more.

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  16. Bok (740 comments) says:

    “Why did you put ‘kitchen fires’ in inverted commas?”
    Oh Dear. Maybe because the “kitchen Fires” are in fact burnings(done for cultural reasons) rather than accidents as the name is meant to imply…

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  17. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    lucky the police took them in before the locals lynched them for being witches.

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  18. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I see. Guess I need to bone up on my euphemisms.

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  19. Razork (375 comments) says:

    I just worry about the goats.

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  20. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    Considering that unlike some places the Masons in Fiji aren’t hob nobbing with those in power, it seems to be quoted saying

    “The stupidity is overwhelming. Virtually unlimited power is placed in the hands of bungling police, who have no judgment or sense of balance, so, at the whim of an uneducated villager, 14 senior members of society had to spend a night locked up.”

    proves that stupidity is overwhelming.

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  21. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Pia – a compass means you’re trying to navigate…compasses are your basic masons’ measuring tool. I’m mildly surprised that the harold managed to get that bit right.

    Like a compass for telling which way’s north?

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  22. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Hey DPF you cannot have it both ways

    [DPF: Are you saying they are too primitive to have a democracy and vote?]

    after saying..

    I don’t know what is sadder – the ignorance of the villagers or the fact the Police took action.

    That sort of tactic is used by the left mate, implying that Adolf is being racist. Come on and man up over this one. You kicked an own goal there.

    (Have to edit this just so that there is no confusion… the only one in this exchange insulting the Fijians is you calling them ignorant, because of their beliefs.)

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  23. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Bok,

    I think he was calling those specific villagers and police ignorant, rather than the whole country.

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  24. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    The freemasons do come in for a lot of bad press. As a secretive society, the vacuum of knowledge about the work that they do is often filled with mis-information. Persecuting them makes about as much sense as crashing a Lions meeting!

    All they do is to make good men better. Yes they are very traditionalist. Yes they conduct ceremonies that seem odd, yet when you see them in the context of what they are trying to achieve, they do make sense. Much like parliament really! :)

    Freemasons do not care what religion you are, what race you are, or what political affiliations you might have. The focus is what unites us, not what divides us. Hardly elitist, just selective.

    There is no goat. Freemasons refer to “The Grand Architect of the Universe” where they once referred to the “God Of All Things”. In freemason publications this was often abbreviated to G.O.A.T. Hence the rumour.

    However it should be noted that the last regime to actively persecute freemasons was Nazi Germany. It is estiamted that up to 200,000 freemasons were exterminated in the concentration camps in occupied europe.

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  25. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Right Ryan
    I see…

    Actually I think DPF can speak for himself.

    But i’ll have a crack at you now. You see the lefty politicians and those who support them usually does this .. Insult some-one, then say that some-one else has insulted that group and then when they get pinged, it’s “ah, but we only said it about two or three, not the whole lot…”

    So to try and cover their sorry behinds, they try and change the context.

    I am calling on DPF simply because that is not usually his style. In fact he is unlike some other bloggers, fairly quick to own up to cock-ups or hypocrisy.

    But hey you just carry on with the morality that brought us ” I did not sign it as if it was my work, I merely autographed a piece of paper for a supporter, the fact that some-one had painted on that piece of paper, and that I did not know if the person who was buying it wanted the painting is irrelevant,..”

    Jeez

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  26. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Slightly
    I have a lot of time for Masons,
    Never been involved but the late FIL was one of the real big Poobahs
    They do real good and a lot of it.

    Having said that, the Christians really have it in for the masons and Fiji is very religious.. so when in Rome…

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Bok,

    I was just calling it how I saw it. I didn’t read “the ignorance of the villagers” as referring to anyone besides those involved in this case, and I didn’t get the impression that DPF was implying that they were reflective of Fijians in general. The context seemed fairly clear.

    I called it how I saw it. That’s the morality that I’ll be carrying on with.

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  28. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    HOwever, we should be wary of the breaking down of our own secular state as Treaty Settlements increasingly include statements about religious belief under the guise of custom and Maori World View.
    The Waikato Settlement says the river is a single indivisible being with its own maori and spirit.

    And those Puhoi Maori who want to claim back a body from the south island claimed they were under the care of a cloak of protection on the way.
    I have no problem with people reflecting their religious beliefs on their own land and other property. But when their religious beliefs impact on my property rights I want to call a halt.

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  29. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    I guess if they were locked up does that mean they can no longer be referred to as ‘Free’Masons? :)

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  30. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Who are the pig ignorant believers in myth who have given Owen TD for his very reasonable post? Got the guts to identify yourselves and debate his points, or was it a simple pavlovian response from simple minds?

    Owen is right. NZ is one of the world’s most secular states, and for that sake of believer and non-beliver, it needs to stay that way.

    If maori want to carry on like pork chops, tongue poking, grumpy bear dancing and entertaining tourists with their primitive “culture”, then all well and good. And if xtians want to carry on like god lives in a loaf of bread, then that’s OK too.

    But, as Owen says, when they want to use their failure to grow up, to cling to stupid stories, and try to tell the rest of us how to live, that’s when we should ALL call a halt.

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  31. thedavincimode (6,591 comments) says:

    ” paraphernalia, including wands, compasses and a skull”

    Are you sure this was correctly reported?

    Does anyone know if the watermelons are having a convention in Fiji at the moment?

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  32. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Is the stupidity of the Fijians any greater than the stupidity of Iranians who will jail soemone for a song?

    TEHRAN (AFP) — An Iranian singer, Mohsen Namjoo, has been sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail term for ridiculing the Koran holy book in a song, reformist daily Etemad Melli reported on Tuesday.

    “He was sentenced on June 9 to five years in jail for insulting sanctities, ridiculing the Koran and dishonouring the holy book of the Muslims,” it quoted a Koran expert and plaintiff in the case, Abbas Salimi Namin, as saying.

    What sanctions do we have on Iran?

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  33. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    I must admit that I don’t know a whole lot about masonry but I did a little google on it.

    One site reckons it is interesting that both Lincoln and JFK (neither of whom were masons) were assassinated and are replaced by Vice-Presidents who were masons, and how John Wilkes Booth, hours before killing Lincoln, left a note at Andrew Johnson’s residence saying, ‘Don’t wish to disturb you. Are you at home?’

    I really don’t know what to think about that, honestly. Here’s what President John Quincy Adams had to say about masonry though, in his Address to the People of Massachusetts –

    “I saw a code of Masonic legislation adopted to prostrate every principle of justice and to corrupt every sentiment of virtuous feeling in the soul of him who bound his allegiance to it. I saw the practice of common honesty, of Christian benevolence, even the abstinence of atrocious crimes, limited exclusively by lawless oaths and barbarous penalties to the sacred relations between the brotherhood of the craft. I saw slander organized into a secret widespread and affiliated agency, fixing its invisible fangs into the hearts of its victims, sheltered by the darkness of the Lodge room, and armed with never ceasing penalties of death. I saw self-invoked imprecations of throats cut from ear to ear; of hearts and vitals torn out and cast off…

    I saw wine drunk from a human skull with solemn invocations of all the sins of its owner upon the head of him who drank it. I saw a wretched human man damning himself to eternal punishment when the last trump shall sound, as a guarantee for idle and ridiculous promises. Such are the laws of Masonry; such are their indelible character … a conspiracy of the few, against the equal rights of many! Anti-republican in its sap from the first blushing of the summit of the plant to the deepest fiber of its roots.”

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  34. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    It is perhaps worth noting that John Quincy Adams was a member of the Anti-Masonic Party, the first really viable third party in the US.

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  35. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    If you’re conspiracy-minded, check out this SITE re: Lydon Johnson and Kennedy. It reckons –

    All but one of the Warren Commission consisted of freemasons, and even then one member, Hale Boggs, eventually suspected Johnson. Boggs died in a plane crash over Alaska not long after questioning his own Commission’s findings.

    Again, I find it interesting, but not sure what to think about it. I guess everyone has conspiracy theories.

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  36. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Fletch,

    Alternatively, there’s… http://www.freemasons.co.nz/charity/

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  37. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    wot’s with the human skull..?

    weird old businessmen playing dress-ups..

    ..(i’ll meet your pentagram..and raise you an amulet

    ..whoar..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  38. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    “Got the guts to identify yourselves”

    Your parents NAMED you mynameisjackoff????

    Frankly I’m not actually that suprised.

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  39. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I would not joke about the masons. There are all sorts of rumours about exactly what levels of the judiciary they have their hooks into…

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  40. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Unlike the fucking labour party!

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  41. Repton (769 comments) says:

    It’s not the Freemasons you need to worry about, it’s the Illuminati. They manipulate they manipulate the global economy through their control of key Freemasons and the Trilateral Commission. It’s all linked to the Global Jewish Conspiracy. The Illuminati’s millitary wing, Majestic 12, were the ones really behind 9-11. That’s why the government joined Echelon, and why they’ll soon be passing all your internet traffic through secret DIA servers. Haven’t you heard of Carnivore and TEMPEST? It’s all there, man. It’s all there.

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  42. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    One site I did visit on my net travels today showed the base of the Statue of Liberty. It has freemason compasses on it, not that I know what that means.

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  43. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I can vote against the fucking labour party.

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  44. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    [DPF: Are you saying they are too primitive to have a democracy and vote?]

    That sort of tactic is used by the left mate, implying that Adolf is being racist.

    Indeed we should be very careful here not to fall into that trap. Perhaps we should briefly explore what we mean by primitive to get on the same page.

    If you mean by primitive are stupid because of their skin colour/ethnicity/genes then no they are not too primitive; thinking otherwise would be racist. However if you mean by primitive that overall (and being sure to note that there will be exceptions) they have a culture that fears superstition, are generally poorly educated, have a limited economy etc then yes Fiji could be considered quite primitive in that regard and it is not racist to say so.

    In my opinion, it is important to realise that democracy is not in its self a magic fix for everything that will transform a country overnight. Several recent examples point to this: Palestine electing terrorist organisations as its government, Iraq putting religious extremists into power and adopting a rather oppressive and religious based set of laws after becoming “democratic” to name two. Democracy asks the people to make a decision every so often as to who should be in charge. In order to make that decision in an informed manner requires some learning and to be able to abandon superstition and think logically. If a people are primitive in the sense they lack these characteristics, then democracy is at best a farce and at worst counterproductive to a nation’s development.

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  45. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    Masonry isn’t for me, but Freemasons are definitely not some freakish, weird sect, if its famous members are any indication, as this link indicates:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Freemasons

    I’m intrigued to find jazz stars Count Basie and Duke Ellington in it along with J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Franz Liszt, and middle-taste music creators like Irving Berlin.

    Politicians include Churchill, and F. D. Roosevelt and Truman, and on the left Salvadore Allende of Chile and Mikhail Bakunin, the Russian revolutionary. Historical figures include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Simon Bolivar, and Davy Crockett. Warriors include Douglas Macarthur and Audie Murphy. Other famous Freemasons include Shackleton the explorer, Steve Wozniak the Apple computer pioneer, writers Twain, Burns and Wilde, and the astronaut Aldrin, the second person to set foot on the Moon.

    The rise of feminism and the decline of male-only groups will be hammering Masonic membership now, I suspect.

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  46. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    You can’t vote against all the stooges they’ve planted in the public service Red.

    Would that we could.

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  47. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Of course there’s always the nutters and Freemasonry as one of the founding fathers of the New World Order.

    But is Al Gore a Freemason?.

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  48. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    The rise of feminism and the decline of male-only groups will be hammering Masonic membership now, I suspect.

    And the rise of atheism and non-religiosity.

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  49. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    along with J.S. Bach, Mozart

    One site I visited reckoned they killed Mozart for putting too much masonry insider info into The Magic Flute.

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  50. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Fletch, did your research consist solely of conspiracy sites?

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  51. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    And the rise of atheism and non-religiosity.

    TV an’ that?

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  52. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    just chucking it out there, i don’t plan on following up,

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  53. KiwiGreg (3,226 comments) says:

    Can they still be freemasons if they are in jail?

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  54. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Can they still be freemasons if they are in jail?

    So long as they’re not convicted of a serious crime, I think.

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  55. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The Freemasons were originally a Guild who new how to calculate the stone arches and buttresses of the great cathedrals etc.
    (Simplified) All guilds were secretive because there was no intellectual property law and the could only protect their knowledge and skills by keeping secrets.
    But their focus on geometry and measurement did mean that they promoted science and the enlightenment and tended to drive the development of modernity.

    Good chaps generally.

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  56. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Generous chaps too. – “Freemasons give $1.2 million to medical research at the University of Auckland”

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  57. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    It’s not the Freemasons you need to worry about, it’s the Illuminati. They manipulate they manipulate the global economy through their control of key Freemasons and the Trilateral Commission. It’s all linked to the Global Jewish Conspiracy. The Illuminati’s millitary wing, Majestic 12, were the ones really behind 9-11. That’s why the government joined Echelon, and why they’ll soon be passing all your internet traffic through secret DIA servers. Haven’t you heard of Carnivore and TEMPEST? It’s all there, man. It’s all there.

    I also enjoyed the game Deus Ex.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex

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  58. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Of course, we all know that by the time you reach Freemasonry’s 33rd degree that it is a well established fact that Satan/Lucifer is ‘God’.

    Thus, the fact that “frightened residents and police raided his Freemasons meeting, suspecting witchcraft and sorcery”, especially in light of “lodge paraphernalia, including wands, compasses and a skull”, is entirely reasonable.

    Maybe Fijian society acknowledges something us in the so-called ‘civilised’ west refuse to see.

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  59. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Of course, we all know that by the time you reach Freemasonry’s 33rd degree that it is a well established fact that Satan/Lucifer is ‘God’.

    I think one would have to read only a very particular brand of information to arrive at that conclusion.

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  60. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The compasses of the Freemason imagery are the compasses of the Geometer.
    See William Blake etc. (What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry)
    It is not difficult to see and to understand the symbolic connection between the idea of God the Great Geometer of the Universe and the geometers who could build those great cathedrals that seemed to pierce the sky. The need to calculate the parabola the were kept within the structure of the flying buttressed led to an understanding of equations with more than one dimension (y=ax2+2bx +c) and hence eventually led to calculus etc.

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  61. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Hi there Ryan 4:47pm,

    My uncle was actually farely high up in the Freemasons. I remember asking him one day about those that were accepted into the ‘craft’. He stated that applicants have to accept and believe in a ‘higher power’. I then asked him, ‘what if a practicing Satanist applied?’ He replied that there would be nothing hindering his acceptance into membership. I thought this quite intriguing at the time.

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  62. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Ryan, only the more interesting ones :)

    Seriously, some of this stuff gives me the willies.

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  63. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    Fletch, when John Quincy Adams said “I saw self-invoked imprecations of throats cut from ear to ear; of hearts and vitals torn out and cast off…”, he could just as easily persecute christians for cannibalism because they eat the body of Jesus and drink his blood. It would make just as much sense.

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  64. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Slightlywrongly 6:24pm,

    Correction: It’s only the Catholics which believe in transsubstantiation – a small, but important distinction.

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  65. kiwireader (48 comments) says:

    Bok – you mentioned the SIS were ordered by the PM to investigate a certain religious group. You are misinformed. The PM, by law, can’t order them to investigate anyone.

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  66. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Kris K,
    just because you have an “uncle” supposedly “high up” in masonry doesn’t mean a great deal, he is entitled to his opinion and yes, one could say its feasible what he said, as Freemasonry does not discriminate on belief. Though the main tenet of freemasonry is a belief in a “Supreme Being”, I would hardly think that the devil/satin or something like that could be interpreted as a supreme being. Though I guess each to his own, I’m sure the clever lawyers who lurk the corridors of blogs could defend you and get you admitted into Freemasonry holding such beliefs by making a play on words. Not quite sure why anyone would want to do that, its cheating your own heart. As Freemasonry seems to be about helping fellow man/woman, although nowadays slightly outdated in its methods. Freemasonry actually does a heck of a lot of good in communities and like all organisations suffers from a minority who bring it into disrepute.

    As an aside, an organisation with what appears dodgy motives and should be discussed more is The Latter Day Saints (mormons), as this is just a reincarnation of Freemasonry and a new revelatory “Book of Mormon” with a mix of slick American marketing and sales thrown on top. The two main founders were both Freemasons, so for all you conspiracy theorists out there, something real for ya to get your teeth into. I have read that this is one of the fastest growing religions in the world…………..so if the majority of a nation could be blinded by Uncle Joe, then imagine what the slickly dressed man or woman who knocks on your door can do……..

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  67. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    wolfjung, check out this site. They’re not all about fun and games.
    On the site, check out the Q&A with a Demitted Mason (one who has left the Masons).
    You’ll see also some of the rituals they go through and about taking an oath (or curse, if you like) upon oneself should they ever divulge secrets.

    It doesn’t look like just a mens club to me, or just a society committed to preserving the secrets of stone arch building.
    It’s way, way deeper.

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  68. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Fletch,
    I’ve seen that site a while ago and dismissed it pretty quickly not long after reading it. The only comments you have made worthy of note is that its “way, way deeper”………..the rituals and secrets are all freely available on the web, big deal. There is only one aspect of the ritual that could even come close to fuelling your lust for conspiracy and its in relation to an Egyptian god mentioned in a much latter degree. Probably more a case of interpretation in context.

    Some site or random comments from an ex-member of any organisation will need to do better than that to convince otherwise of the good that Freemasonry has done for society. Can you please outline all the bad things Freemasonry has done for society????…………I personally don’t see a problem in a bunch of guys getting together to reinact the life of an ancient Mason during the times of King Solomon and in the process give money to charitable causes, more power to whoever wants to do whatever gives them kicks.

    I challenge you to read a more professionally presented website http://www.freemasons.co.nz/cms/ and do some more research other than random conspiracy sites you have read.

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  69. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    My uncle was actually farely high up in the Freemasons. I remember asking him one day about those that were accepted into the ‘craft’. He stated that applicants have to accept and believe in a ‘higher power’. I then asked him, ‘what if a practicing Satanist applied?’ He replied that there would be nothing hindering his acceptance into membership. I thought this quite intriguing at the time.

    Kris,

    Depends on what is meant by a practising Satanist. If you gave the name “Satan” to whatever created/underlies the universe, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If you believed in a Creator and worshipped or followed a created being named Satan who opposed the Creator and the Creator’s morality, then I think that would hinder a lot.

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  70. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Fletch,

    You’ve gone rather quickly from…

    I must admit that I don’t know a whole lot about masonry but I did a little google on it.

    …to solely quoting websites that spread the most common and stereotypical conspiracy theories about it.

    How would you describe your beliefs about Freemasonry prior to today’s Googling? Honestly, mind.

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  71. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Ryan, perhaps you’re right. But I also don’t think such a strong statement would be elicited from the then President of the United States (no less) about something completely harmless. That doesn’t make sense to me, the use of such strong language without some good reason.
    Nor do I think a simple men’s group could have their symbols stamped on the plaque underneath the Statue of Liberty without wielding some influence.

    And prior to today’s googling? I always knew they held some influence among the bigwigs of society. I’m not saying I believe all of the stuff from the sites I’ve visited. I like to keep an open mind. Looking at the content of the page – it was enough for a mason to curse the owner of the site (see the first part in the yellow box) for the information he had up there.

    Also, having Q&A from an ex-mason there is pretty compelling – out of the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    One thing is for sure, they are not Christian. That is the one conclusion I can definitely come to.

    The rest, I don’t really know…

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  72. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Fair enough, Fletch. Influence, no doubt, though I suspect that’s more that people of a certain class were, in times when they could be particularly influential, were more likely than not Masons. As I mentioned regarding President Adams, he was (became) a member of a single-issue party whose single issue was opposing Freemasonry, and while it was probably for understandable reasons in the context, that should at least be kept in mind.

    A Q&A from an ex-Mason may be informative, but how would you consider the statements of an ex-Christian speaking about Christianity? I would hope you’d consider there may be more sides to the coin.

    Do you have any Q&As from current Masons to cite? Has your Googling produced any positive statements at all?

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  73. kiki (425 comments) says:

    What were they ignorant of?

    The white man removed their previous religion and replaced it with the correct one, the religion of the freemasons is different from what they were taught which was obviously the correct one so the freemasons are bad or wrong. There is no problem they are only following what we set out to achieve.

    Also could you accuse them of ignorance when something that is kept secret from them?

    If one was an atheist one could say that 95% (apparently the proportion that believes in some kind of god) are not just ignorant but stupid as well due to the complete lack of evidence of the existence of a god and that the secrecy of these religious groups are the only thing that sustains them but I wouldn’t say that.

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  74. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    kiki, I can’t make hide nor hair with what you are trying to say. I can correct one glaringly big problem with what you have said, Freemasonry is not a RELIGION. Never has been, probably never will be.

    Fletch, a Q&A from an ex-mason is as worthless as Winston Peters opening up now and describing what he thinks of the National Party. I give you some kudos for your comment they are not Christians, though this is not entirely true, if you read the comments properly all Freemasons are meant to believe in a Supreme Being, this makes the majority Christian, though there is also Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and every other belief under the sun (and as Ryan cleverly said, if Satin is your creator then why not). The ritual is supposidely based on certain parts of the Bible, particularly Old Testament around the time of King Solomon. Though it is I repeat, NOT A RELIGION.

    As for this John Quicy Adams and his anti-masonic stance, it was driven at the time by the Morgan affair in the USA. Now any good politician would use such an event to curry favour and opinion. There was simply no conclusive evidence that freemasons were involved, and once again it brings up the issue of members of an organisation bringing it into disrepute. If one christian kills someone, does this mean that Christianity should be denounced?

    Freemasonry as an organisation has done exponentially more good than the sum total of bad acts by its individuals, real or perceived . Its all too easy for consipiracy theorists to pick and choose instances that supposidly support their wild theories.

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  75. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Ryan, I not only have to look at it myself, but I have to look at it through the lens of my own faith (and others who have more experience than myself) to see whether it is something I should hold up as good or something I should be wary of.
    That is why I find Q&A from ex-masons useful, such as this Q&A from John Salza, a Catholic who ‘was a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner, as well as a Blue lodge officer and Proficiency cardholder. A Proficiency card is a rare Masonic credential conferred upon those Masons who are considered experts in Masonic ritual.’

    Catholic Knight also has four youtube videos up by Mr Salza entitled ‘Freemasonry Exposed’ which are useful.

    I can only say that as far as my faith goes, it is not a group I think I should be involved in. Others may have different views, or may not know exactly what it’s all about.

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  76. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    I understand, Fletch, but can you see no redeeming features at all?

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  77. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Freemasonry is not a RELIGION. Never has been, probably never will be.

    Well..

    The other important authority that explains the meaning of Masonry is the Masonic Bible. This Bible, which is typically the King James Version of the Old and New Testament, includes an extensive addendum of Masonic definitions and terminology. This book is generally given to Masons after they receive their third degree, and can be ordered from most Grand Lodges throughout the country. Other secondary authorities include writings by the friends of Masonry, such as Henry Wilson Coil, Albert Mackey, and Albert Pike, all of whom declare that Freemasonry is a religion and that this religion is not Christianity.

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  78. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Ryan, why is it important to you?

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  79. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Mainly for the reasons I mentioned earlier. It seems odd to me that you’d start with little impression of it, research it and find only negative things to say. That Q&A is quite good, by the way – thanks for the link.

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  80. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    Also, the Church considers any of it’s members enrolled in a Masonic Lodge to be in grave sin and not able to receive Communion.

    The Church, through its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has formally declared that Catholics who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. This declaration, which is the most recent teaching of the Church, has affirmed nearly 300 years of papal pronouncements against Freemasonry on the grounds that the teachings of the Lodge are contrary to Catholic faith and morals.

    Still, it is not up to me to judge –

    As Christians, we do not judge individual Masons or attack their character. In fact, most Masons are good and virtuous men. Instead, we judge the teachings of Masonic ritual in light of the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church.

    It is not for me though, as I have said.

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  81. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    Freemasonry may not be a religion, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s religious, and that many people would find those aspects incompatible with their own views, be they atheistic or exclusivist religious.

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  82. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    Freemasons require a belief in a supreme being. The purpose of that belief is open to the interpretation of the individual mason. Personally, as freemasonry is based on the art of masonry and building of structures, I feel that such belief acts as a foundation of sorts on which to build a better person.

    I have read the Freemasonry Watch website that Fletch has linked to and can say that what I have read from it is complete tripe which would be dangerous if it was not so risible. How do I know? The answer should be obvious, but for those who haven’t twigged, yes, I am a freemason.

    While there is a spiritual side to our meetings, there is no religious side. While this dichotomy may be confusing, there is a reason to this. Freemasonry is open to all men, of all faiths. however, ther are 2 subjects are not discussed within a lodge. Religion and Politics, as it is understood that these are the 2 subjects that divide men (as this blog constantly proves! ;) ), where we seek to unite men by the similarities between them. Freemasons pledge to take active roles in the communities they live in, while also pledging to obey the laws of that land. While not all freemasons may live up to the ideals that we hold, that is true of any group, be they politicians, teachers, priests, doctors.

    All we are is a group of like minded individuals…..

    or perhaps I have yet to be invited to our global domination meetings?

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  83. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    SlightlyRighty,

    I’m a Mason too. I think the definition between “spiritual” and “religious” is fairly subjective, but it’s those spiritual/religious aspects which do prove incompatible with many people’s religious beliefs. If someone believes, for example, that all religions besides their own are deceptions inspired by Satan, they would not likely be comfortable with the Qu’ran and the Torah being given an equal footing to the Bible. That’s cool – so it goes.

    I’ll try to get you an invite to the next global-domination meeting. You’ll need to bring your own goat and sacrificial virgin.

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  84. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Fletch, I’m guessing you are gleening more of your informed opinion from sites such as the Scripture Catholic?…..I assume you are catholic?

    It was on April 28, 1738, Pope Clement XIII issued a papal bull declaring any Catholic who participated in Freemasonry would be automatically excommunicated. The most recent endoresment of this has been by Pope John II.

    Okay, I’ve don’t have the interest nor time to fully research why the Catholic’s take this stance, though I will offer a fairly informed opinion, Freemasonry evolved from predominately Protestant roots. I can understand fully why the Catholic church is against Freemasons, as they were people back in the middle ages who believed in freedom of choice and the only way to preserve such ideals was by forming secret guilds (working masons). Its laughable, as today you can visit many a church in Europe that is covered in masonic symbols (unbeknown to its Catholic owners). Today there is mainly Speculative Masons (there is operable masons who work in Europe who repair the churches, you may even occassionally see these guys in NZ, they dress in a very traditional uniform – wide brim hat, flared pants).

    I think there is a really good reason why the Reformation occured, why should the spirituality of man, woman or child be dictated to by some Catholic clergy?……………If anything, I think Freemasonry was well ahead of its time, its acceptance of different religions, its acceptance of members not based on creed, belief or wealth. A lot of the ideals of Freemasonry contributed to the Constitution of the USA. Don’t you think there is a good reason why its had such an influence on so many people and also society?

    My opinion is that it all boils down to power, the Catholic Church doesn’t like the fact Freemasonry has its own oaths of secrecy, heaven forbid that there is something one can’t tell during confession to that Priest who stands between man and god.

    This nonsense about world domination or any other conspiracy is just that, nonsense.

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  85. Ryan Sproull (7,071 comments) says:

    wolfjung,

    Acceptance of multiple religions is enough in itself to give it a bad name in some books.

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  86. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Ryan, good point………..though the world needs more ideals based around acceptance of other peoples beliefs, we have enough fundamentalist types whether they be muslim or christian for that matter. I’d even go as far to say there is a new breed of religion, the scientists who fundamentally think that atheism is what everyone should believe. Everyone wants others to accept their viewpoint………….Maybe I’ll sit down and write the Book of Mormon II and steal all the ritual from Freemasonry and all Canon Laws from the Ivory tower in Rome. I’m sure a religion called FreeCatholics would be a great hit!

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  87. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    So how many degrees are available in Freemasonry, Ryan and/or SR?

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  88. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Reid,
    Most people are referencing the Scottish Rite when they say there is 33 degrees. I understand that most Masons don’t even do the Scottish Rite. Depending on whether its English, Irish or Scottish constitution, there is variations. I’d say that each country also has its own variations on the degrees.

    Basic “Blue Lodge” has only three degrees………Entered Apprentice, Journey Man(Fellow craft), and Master Mason.
    There is a bunch of other degrees in various other branches, Such things as Knights Templar, Rose Croix, York Rite…….etc
    I think in NZ there is a bunch of higher degrees for Grand Lodge (next level up from Blue Lodge)

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  89. Pedantic (2 comments) says:

    Not many of you guys have a clue about Freemasonry, or it’s implications.
    Before you carry on flaunting your ignorance, do some real research into the subject.
    There is nothing hidden and secretive about this society, it is all revealed in their “Bible”, “Morals and dogma” by Albert Pike.
    If you can get hold of a copy, good luck, but the chances are you won’t be able to without some effort.

    In a nut-shell, Masons worship Satan, and have been doing the Devils work since time began.
    Their ultimate design is that of Satan, to control the world by means of ultimate deception.

    Only Masons of 30 degree or higher are privy to these revelations, so any opinion of lower Masons is irrelevant, they are just ignorant of the truth. No better than cattle being led to the slaughter.

    Pray tell me what good the Masons have done? Have you not heard of misdirection?

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