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#79112 - 03/17/05 06:54 AM Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
Tig Dupre Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Fort Lewis, Washington
I saw a post containing errors referencing the Freemasons. Being a Mason, I thought I'd best correct the record.

The post is below, and I will add my comments in the body:

Visitor Comment -
1. In the book, Dan Brown states that freemasonry has thirty-three degrees; this is factually incorrect.

[Tig] No, it is not ENTIRELY correct. There are 33 degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry, but the 33rd degree is honorary, not earned through enlightenment. In Masonry, a candidate "travels" from Entered Apprentice, through Fellowcraft, to Master Mason in the first three degrees. After that, he may chose to travel "up the compass" on either "side" to York Rite or Scottish Rite. I cannot speak for York Rite, because I did not travel that route.

Freemasonry has three separate and distinct degrees; Entered Apprentice, Fellow-Craft and Master Mason. It could be argued that there is a fourth, The Royal Arch Degree, where a Master Mason is "perfected", however this is where traditional freemasonry ends.

[Tig] Not entirely correct. Royal Arch degree is in York Rite, and there are more degrees of Masonry in York Rite than just the Royal Arch. As I said before I cannot speak for York Rite because I did not travel that route. AND... there is another path of travel after York and/or Scottish Rite, that of the Shrine.

Bear in mind that the majority of freemasons are family men who already spend far too much time on "The Craft", but in the event that they are show "interest" and are "the right sort", certain brethren may be "invited" to join a whole new group of other "societies with secrets".

[Tig] Don't know where this statement comes from, but it sounds like someone who is disaffected by past experiences with Masons. As the statement alludes, Masonry is not a "secret society," but a society with secrets. Some historians feel that Masonry grew out of the need for secrecy during the suppression of the Knights Templar, when exposure meant torture and death. As for a "family man" spending "far too much time" on the Craft, his Brothers will counsel him to spend the time he needs, but not to the exclusion of his family.

Some of these other masonic orders are based upon Rosicrucian ideas, and one in particular "The Ancient and Accepted Rite" does indeed have 33 degrees; but most freemasons are not even aware of its existence, much less of the mythical character Christian Rosenkreuz upon which its teachings are based. "The Knights Templar" like "The Ancient Accepted Rite" rely exclusively upon work-a-day freemasons for their membership, but numbers interested in or invited to join them are pitifully small.

[Tig] The Rosicrucians (Knights of the Red Cross) are another brotherhood, based on bringing together people for common good. The Ancient and Accepted Freemasons, and Free and Accepted Masons, are nearly the same, in much the same fashion that Southern Baptists and Open Reform Baptists are the same. Different methods to accomplish the same end. Nearly every Mason I know (and I associate with thousands) knows of, or is a member of the Scottish Rite, or the York Rite, or is a Shriner. Many families have sons in the Order of DeMolay, have daughters in the Rainbow Girls or Job's Daughters, and mothers and wives in the Order of the Eastern Star. Nothing mystical, nothing paranormal, nothing arcane or evilly occult, merely social activity working for the betterment of the community.

My guess is that Dan Brown culled his information from some kind of anti-freemasonic book written as an expose of "The Craft", rather than speaking with anyone who is a freemason and has gone beyond "The Craft".

[Tig] Perhaps Dan Brown checked out a few books from the library, did a cursory search, and formed his own opinions. Happens all the time. Anti-Masonry pops up on about a five year cycle. There are places now where it is inadvisable to wear Masonic jewelry or identify yourself as a Mason. It could get you thrown in jail or even killed. The central theme for anti-Masonic fervor is the fear of secrecy. But, ask yourself. If the Masons are so secret, how come everyone knows about them?

My Response -
You know, of all the "secret" organizations that Dan Brown makes use of, at least this one really is secret. I know several people high up in the Masonic system and none have ever told me exactly what it is they do or their history. The Rosicrucians (or Red Cross) would be based on the Knights Templar, i.e. the knights who helped protect pilgrims who were going to the holy land back in the early days of Christianity. It is pretty fascinating that those knights' ceremonies survive even slightly in modern times.

But you're right, it appears Dan Brown wrote based on slight knowledge of the group.

[Tig] There are many organizations and societies which have their sub-rosa rites and rituals. Many of them appear to have been formed from the same core. Masons and Rosicrucians seem to share similar symbology and ritual, based on a Templar theme. The Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon--the Knights Templar--did much more than protect travelers to the Holy Land. They fought in the crusades, established international banking and fund transfers, financed kingdoms, and had an unbelievable intelligence network. King Philip II of France--Philip the Fair--resented the fact that he had to finance his crusade through the Templars, and already owed them a lot of money. On Friday, October 13, 1307, he had as many Templars rounded up as he could get, charging them with all sorts of heinous crimes against the state, the church and humanity at large. They were tortured to get their "cnfessions," the cleanse them of their sins, and finally burned at the stake as heretics. For a really good historical account of the Templars and the Masons, read "Born in Blood," by James Robinson, a non-Mason at the time he wrote the book.

Hope this long-winded post helps clear up some of the mystery and error.

Thanks,
Tig
_________________________
Tig in Port Orchard, WA

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#79113 - 03/17/05 09:12 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
PDM Offline


True Blue Soulmate

Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 22788
Loc: UK
Hi Tig.

Very interesting. Thanks for that.

May I ask a couple of questions, please?

Do you think that the Knights Templar who escaped Philip the Fair were the founders of Freemasonry?

Have you read the books of Knight and Lomas and, if you have, what do you think of their conclusions?

Thank you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For those who are interested, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas have a website. It can be found here:

http://www.knight-lomas.com/index2.html

Also there is 'The Web of Hiram':

"Bradford University is host to a major internet based, Masonic research resource, which is free to all interested researchers.

"This website was created by Dr Robert Lomas as his personal research tool to aid the writing of The Book of Hiram. He has since donated the material to the University as part of the Electronic Special Collections of the J B Priestly Library.

It can be found here:
http://www.bradford.ac.uk/webofhiram/
_________________________
"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.

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#79114 - 03/17/05 11:46 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
Tig Dupre Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Fort Lewis, Washington
[QUOTE]Originally posted by PDM:
[QB] Hi Tig.


Do you think that the Knights Templar who escaped Philip the Fair were the founders of Freemasonry?

[Tig] According to several books I have read, and discussions I have had with other Masons, the consensus of opinion is that the Templars who escaped became the founders of Freemasonry. There was a huge price on their head, financed in part by the monies siezed by Philip from the Templars, and their lives were in constant danger. The secret signs and symbols used by modern Masons are said by some to have evolved from the recognition signs used by fugitive Templars to indicate who could be trusted, and how much. Thus, the various levels or degrees of Masonry were instituted. There's a lot more, but this is not the forum in which to discuss it.

Have you read the books of Knight and Lomas and, if you have, what do you think of their conclusions?

[Tig] I have not yet read the books of Knight and Lomas, that I know of. I read in the neighborhood of 450-500 books a year, on topics ranging from Harry Potter to the chemistry of pottery glaze-making. I have read "The Hiram Key," "Born In Blood," and a number of other books dealing with the connections between the Knights Templar, the Knights of Malta, the Rosicrucians, and the Freemasons. I will investigate the websites you have so graciously provided me, and read with interest the information they provide.

My personal opinion is that much of what is available concerning the Da Vinci "code," Freemasons, Jesus of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene, and the Merovingians is fanciful speculation. It's exciting to read about, as long as it remains in the reader's mind that there exists very little in the way of hard evidence to substantiate the claims. Dan Brown wrote a good story. And many other people, hopeful of discovering some long-lost secret, have jumped on the bandwagon, eager for glory.

Just my opinion,

Tig
_________________________
Tig in Port Orchard, WA

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#79115 - 03/17/05 11:52 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
Tig Dupre Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Fort Lewis, Washington
PDM,

Just a quick postscript... Yes, I have read "The Hiram Key," by Knight and Loman. Fascinating story of their efforts to uncover the origins of Freemasonry, and what they found along the way.

Thanks, again for your reply,

Tig
_________________________
Tig in Port Orchard, WA

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#79116 - 03/28/05 11:55 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
Popeye Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Manchester
Hi Tig,

Your coments about the York and Scottish Rite are not quite a true refelction of the Masonic system as they represent an American system and not a British or European one. In England it is perfectly possible to become a 33rd degree Mason, if you are a Christian, and to be a member of what you call York Rite degrees (I am myself). Membership of the 33rd degree is I suppose "honorary" in England but particularly prized with a very limited membership restricted to those leaders within the Ancient and Accepted Rite or "Rose Croix". You are right to say it is not based on enlightenment rather it is earned I suppose by your rank within Rose Croix. As to the Shrine, that is a recent American invention (by British standards) and of no historical significance what so ever. I should also say that a number of Orders under what you call the York or Scottish Rite are also recent inventions compared to the original degrees of Freemasonry.

Finally, is it not a coincidence that Leigh Teabing is an anagram of Leigh Baigent, the original authors of the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Or am I looking too deeply into all of this?

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#79117 - 03/28/05 12:35 PM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code
Peter May Offline
Long Time Friend

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 556
Loc: St Albans, England
No coincidence - several names in the books have deeper meanings. There's several posts on them on this forum.
_________________________
http://www.winelabels.org

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#425229 - 10/21/12 03:54 PM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code [Re: Tig Dupre]
JoeDu Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/21/12
Posts: 2
Would like to point out that ALL Freemasons are aware of the appendant bodies of York and Scottish rites.

All are aware of 32nd and 33rd degrees in the Scottish Rite and the Knights Templar. The reasoning is simple - once a man reaches 3rd degree in "Blue Lodge" masonry, the appendant bodies descend on him like wolves to get him into their Rite. Why? Because membership in all Masonic organizations is dwindling. Fast. They need members and their dues in order to survive.

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#425797 - 12/17/12 12:09 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code [Re: Tig Dupre]
Lisa Shea Online   content


True Blue Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 8819
Loc: US
JoeDu -

I imagine part of the challenge is that Masons are traditionally not allowed to recruit members. So how can they draw in fresh blood if they're not allowed to actively encourage people to join them?
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Lisa Shea, Owner

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#425801 - 12/17/12 04:26 AM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code [Re: Tig Dupre]
JoeDu Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/21/12
Posts: 2
We cannot outright solicit membership, that's for sure. Traditionally (in America), a man has to approach a Lodge of his own free will. Solicitation is tantamount to coercion.

But we can and do invite others. The Lodges are allowed to hold all kinds of programs open, visible and inviting to the general public. We can approach a man twice - once to ask if he has considered joining and offer some pamphlets or booklets, and another time later to ask if he had made a decision or was still considering it. But that's as far as it goes, and such approaches are to be informational in nature only.

But it still makes for a dwindling membership that is likely to decline into irrelevancy in the next 50 years. Sad but true.

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#425816 - 12/17/12 07:04 PM Re: Freemasons and the Da Vinci Code [Re: Tig Dupre]
Lisa Shea Online   content


True Blue Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 8819
Loc: US
JoeDu -

I was wondering when there were those Benjamin Franklin ads on TV promoting the Masons how that fell in with those rules. Surely a given man probably saw that more than once ...
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Lisa Shea, Owner

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