Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians
A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
How Spiritual Institutions Become Demonized
If you want to hide the truth from the uninitiated, keep it in plain sight. Even reveal it to them, openly and honestly! They will not believe you.
There is nothing a conspiracy theorist hates more, than the truth that there is no conspiracy - only universal patterns.
This doesn't mean that certain people don't try to conspire together, and wouldn't like to be able to rule the world - just that no human institution is powerful enough, in the end, to make Karma conform to its plans.
To a Mason, the accusation that his Lodge performs Satanic rituals is absurd. From the first moment he was led into his first initiation, he heard nothing but language taken directly from the Bible. As he proceeded through the Degrees and later became a Lodge Officer himself, his experience was consistently the same: Old Testament liturgy involving the building of Solomon's Temple, overlain with New Testament references to holy saints. The basic teaching of Freemasonry is the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. The Working Tools of Masonry are symbols designed to teach a man how to be an upright, law abiding citizen. The Mason's ultimate wish is that when he dies he may be admitted into Heaven and hear the words of Jesus, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
But try telling that to a person who subscribes to the pseudo-Christian websites claiming that "Freemasonry is of Satan!" There is no way he is going to believe you. (I refer to those websites as pseudo-Christian because they lack the basic Christian hallmarks of brotherly love and humility. Besides, millions of true Christians are Masons.)
Ironically, those misguided website creators spend far more time thinking about Satan than anybody I know. They are obsessed with Satan; just count how many times they invoke his name! If minor deities are given life by the thought-energies of humans, then who is actually giving life to the Devil? It's certainly not us Pagans.
The reason Masonry got such a bad rap goes back to the Middle Ages and a Catholic Church that didn't want to share temporal power. Church fathers were made apoplectic by the idea of free-thinkers in their communities - Gnostics, Cathars and others - who didn't accept that Papal Bulls were direct pronouncements from God Himself. (As though every Pope since Peter had been a spotless saint! Hello, boys and girls; can you say "Borgia"?)
It would be slanderous to claim that the Roman Catholic Church never had any saints; over the centuries, they have far outnumbered the dirt bags. But, unfortunately for any organization, the villains always grab the headlines.
The Church could have taken the benign Universalist view that these groups, too, worshipped God in their own ways. But, no; the threat to its earthly power was deemed too great. So - if you didn't kowtow to the Church, you were headed for the Stake.
And this is why I'm writing about Masonry in a blog devoted to Pagans! We all believe in the Divine, and we share a lot more things in common than you might have realized. The defamation and horror of the Burning Times didn't just happen to Wise Women, Alchemists and Jews.
Much has been written about the Knights Templar, and how the French King and the Pope finally decided to decimate the Order because its temporal power rivaled their own. One of the Masonic Degrees is the Knights Templar Degree, and Masonry's youth branch is the Order of DeMolay - a direct homage to Jacques DeMolay, the fiercely courageous head of the Templars who was tortured and burned at the stake but refused to the end to "confess" to any Satanic practices. Now that was a man.
Are you ready for the most stupidly ignorant aspect of the pseudo-Christian websites? They include the Catholic Church in the list of organizations that are controlled by Satan!
In other words:
1) They identify Masonry as a Satanic cult, trusting the word of the Medieval Catholic Church which waged a public-relations campaign against it; But
2) They identify the Catholic Church itself as a Satanic cult!
There is a disconnect in their reasoning. Nor is it based on any real facts of history, sociology or religion.
The explanation, of course, is that these people use "Satanic Cult" as a huge trash bin in which to dump any organization which they fear and don't agree with. It has nothing to do with reason at all.
In 1882 the Knights of Columbus fraternity was created to give Catholic men a Masonic-type organization of their own. What few understand today, is that Masonry never excluded Catholic men from becoming Masons; it was the Pope who prohibited it, on pain of excommunication. That prohibition was finally revoked by Pope John XXIII in the second half of the 20th century.
So, that's how spiritual institutions become demonized; competing interests spread lies about them in order to solidify their own political power. And the lies are believed by gullible, paranoid people who are too lazy - or who lack the resources - to investigate the facts for themselves. And the stigma persists, down through the generations.
Unfortunately, such misguided hysteria can pave the way for inquisitions, pogroms and holocausts.
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