This site reflects my interest in secret societies. Especially Freemasonry, in particular the monstrously huge Antient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Mizraim; and also the pseudo-masonic Ordo Templi Orientis and the heavily Masonic influenced but independent Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
While it is currently "politically correct" in conventional Masonic circles to say that Freemasonry "is not a 'secret society' but a society with secrets" (which some would say that this itself is a definition of a secret society), the fact is that Freemasonry is the very archetype of what is meant by the term . Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1975, defines secret society as " n : any of various oath-bound societies often devoted to brotherhood, moral discipline, and mutual assistance". This most certainly covers Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is the King and Grandfather of all the old Secret Societies that have come down to us from the remote past. It tantalizes us with its symbols and secrets and regalia and banners and strange and ancient titles of innumerable Degrees open only to those who have been investigated and passed the secret ballot without one negative vote cast against them.
It has been accused of being a conspiracy against religions, governments and the world at large. It has been variously characterized as communistic, democratic, atheistic, religious, irreligious and of course satanic, the hidden hand behind the real money and power in the world and a bunch of out of touch, doddering old men engaged in a childishly silly, but harmless pastime. "Regular" Freemasonry however, is most certainly not a sinister secret society. While political and religious extremists of both the Right and the Left have always condemned Freemasonry as a sinister secret society they have generally been only able to offer lunatic stories without basis in fact in their attacks against it (outstanding articles on this subject may be found at: http://http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/freemasonry/anti-mason.html , The Anti-Masonic FAQ and Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The adverse propaganda of these political and religious fringes feeds upon itself and grows. Many who do not thoroughly and objectively look into the matter unknowingly swallow the most absurd garbage without realizing it. On the other hand, far too many Freemasons have swallowed unfounded myths about their Order themselves.
The literature of Freemasonry is voluminous. And hardly anyone pro or con feels disposed to read much of it. They have their cherished strong opinions either for or against Freemasonry and that is enough for them. My two favorite quotes from men who were considered good Masonic Brethren are: "It (Freemasonry) doesn't mean anything, it's just symbolic"(!) and "What a bunch of bullshit just to get to the Shrine!" The first was uttered by a Brother attending a Masonic research society whose purpose was to encourage research into the history, symbolism, ritual and philosophy of the Masonic Orders. The second was made by a Master Mason who was taking the Degrees of the "York Rite" in preparation for becoming a Shriner. I have quite commonly come upon Masonic books that were a hundred years or older only to find indications such as uncut pages that show that the book was never read once before in all that time. However, as ignorant as many Masons may be, their enemies haven't been distinguished for honesty, credibility or scholarship.
Suspecting that Freemasonry was neither wholly evil or wholly good and yet prepared that it might indeed be either or both, (!) I ventured into the world of ancient secret societies with their rituals and symbols and ciphers and passwords and secret handshakes. It has proved to be a richly rewarding experience for me.
At any rate, I hope you'll be informed and amused by what has been gathered here and what shall appear here in the future. Learning about Secret Societies is fun! For a good treatment of several other Secret Societies be sure to also see: http://mill-valley.freemasonry.biz/marin-fraternities.htm Need I add that any opinions expressed on this web site are solely my own?
Somewhere having fun.
You can contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to thank Morgune Kate for technical assistance and advice. I would like to also thank Martin Starr for historical information on Aleister Crowley and the O.T.O. and Art DeHoyos for advice upon Masonic historical subjects.