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Date: Wed, 30 Sep 92 00:04:30 EDT
From: Peter Trei
Subject: Masonic Digest, Vol. 4, Number 16.
MASONIC Digest Tuesday, 29 September 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 16
Administrivia. (Peter Trei)
Low quality of religious discussion in Masonry (Paul Rich)
Another pagan Mason. (Edward M. Averett)
Re: Wiccan Masons (Don Perkins)
Occult vs. Masonry (Leonardo Stevens)
Send all submissions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. MASONIC
digest is moderated. Please remember: THIS IS A PUBLIC FORUM: YOU MUST
ASSUME THAT MANY READERS ARE NON-MASONS. Please include a relevant
subject line. If you require anonymity, say so at the top of your
message (and give a nom-de-net). All contributions remain the property
(copyright 1992), and responsibility of the authors. My own comments
remain mine (Copyright 1992 Peter Trei), and represent only my views
at the time of posting - not neccesarily those of my employer, or of
any Grand Lodge. Back issues are available, as are a few standard
pamphlets, either directly from me or via anonymous ftp to site
From: Peter Trei
I've decided that the wicca/religion thread is becoming much to
dominant in the Digest, and am killing it in this issue. The posts here
represent the most recent stuff I've received on the topic, and I'm not
going to permit followups in the Digest. Of course, interested parties
are free to write directly to each other (and I would'nt mind being
CC'd), but the topic of the suitability of various faiths will not
reappear here for a while, probably not until the new year.
I seriously considered just dropping it without sending out my
current "inbox", but some of the posts are of good quality - I just
don't feel that they are really on topic for the digest, and are
generating far more heat than light. In particular, it bothers me that
a lot of the posts are starting to be attacks by proponents of one
faith on the faith's of others, a most un-Masonic behavior.
If this is the first issue of the digest you are reading, please
realize that it is atypical.
From: email@example.com (Paul Rich Education)
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 92 9:11:21 WST
Subject: Low quality of religious discussion in Masonry
The discussion which keeps going under different titles about the
religious beliefs required for membership points up the lack of
rationality to requiring a theological belief from someone (belief in
deity) in an organisation that prohibits theological discussion. The
views of members about what a god is (person, emotion, force,
historical tendency, experience) would be just as varied as they are
among members of an individual religious sect. A fairly common
statement that God is Love doesn't really advance discussion very far,
since concepts of love have caused endless debate. As for sacred books,
if someone felt that their sacred book was the collected works of a
particular poet, there is really no standard of orthodoxy to prevent
Browning or (perhaps appropriately) Kipling being placed reverently on
In actual fact, the intellectual quality of the members today
isn't very high and the discussion of theology would be beyond most
lodges - so there is a practical argument for not discussing the
The University of Western Australia
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 92 21:39:05 EST
From: Morgen Corona
Subject: Another pagan Mason.
Hi Peter. I very much liked the article on Wiccans and Masonry.
It was well thought out, well-spoken, and illustrated most of the
points I was about to write you about, so I won't. However, I will
contribute my own weight to list of those who are Pagan and Mason. I
am a practicing pagan, an initiated Wiccan priest, and I am now on the
path to becoming a Voodoun Priest. Without going into too much detail
I will point out simply that voodoo (except in hollywood), has nothing
to do with voodoo dolls, the devil or satanism, or human sacrifice. It
is an afro-syncretic religion with a primary source of Western Africa,
mostly the area we recognize as Nigeria and surrounding areas. They
believe in a supreme deity, and represent more of a theological
structure than the worship of any particular deity or group therein.
There are even voodooists who worship Christ specifically. I also
believe that I am a Christian to the extent that I believe in much of
the doctrine of Christ, if not in much of the doctrine of the organized
churches that claim to represent Him.
I joined a Masonic lodge in Massachusetts. I was asked
specifically if I believed in a Supreme Being, and truthfully answered
yes. There are those in my lodge who know that I am not primarily of
the Judeo-Christian belief system. The majority of the members of my
mother lodge are what my wife called, "a bunch of old Jewish
grandfathers", which made her very much happier with the notion of my
joining the Masons for a number of reasons. Though I have not yet in
North Carolina found a lodge within my commuting range of community
that I would enjoy affiliating with, I am getting to know several
Prince Hall Masons in the area, and hope one day to be able to consider
affiliating with one of them. Unfortunately, North Carolina still
seems to me to be rather monolithic in its cultural attitudes for the
most part, and this has interferred with my ability to comfortably
attend a number of lodges in my immediate vicinity, though I have
visited several a bit farther from here that I would gladly affiliate
with. (Note that I grew up in this area.)
Edward M. Averett
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Don Perkins)
Subject: Re: Wiccan Masons (anonymous)
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 92 12:28:24 EDT
> Subject: Wiccan Masons
> From: Anonymous
> [ PT: I received this indirectly - I don't know who the original author ]
> [ is, nor can I confirm his Masonic status. However, I thought it was ]
> [ worth including. I would like to note that many (probably the ]
> [ majority) of regular Masons in the US would have a LOT of problems ]
> [ with a Wiccan/Pagan candidate who was open about the nature of his ]
> [ faith. ]
There are currently several reasons why I have chosen NOT to
become a Mason, your comment above is one of them.
[ PT: I'd like to point out that the problem is not so much one of ]
[ Paganism being unsuitable (IMHO), but rather one of weirding out folk ]
[ whose only "knowledge" of it comes from sensationalist articles on ]
[ Satanism. ]
The closing paragraph of this post was very inspiring to me:
[ quoted text deleted - its the final paragraph of the the anonymous ]
[ post in v04n014.]
Unfortunately, it seems that while "great men of all times have
supported Masonry", a large number of masons don't support the Masonic
ideal of equality of mankind.
[ PT: True enough - we're not perfect, though most of us are trying to ]
[ improve. ]
I submit for your consideration the post from another "Unsatisfied"
[ JS's post complaining (PT: I think on the basis of outdated info) of ]
[ the lack of minorities in Rainbow deleted. ]
The "situation" is not just with Rainbow...
Concerning the current debate about Prince Hall, if Masons
actually lived the Masonic creed, THERE WOULD BE NO DEBATE. Arguments
for tradition are fine, if you are discussing ritual. But to apply this
to Prince Hall is not rational. After all, haven't the Muslims
traditionally hated the Jews? Throughout history, hasn't one people
traditionally enslaved another? Is this any reason to continue the
[ PT: There are legit arguments against recognizing Prince Hall Grand ]
[ Lodges, based on the irregularity of their origin, and the American ]
[ doctrine of territorial exclusivity. IMHO, applying these strictly is]
[ hypocritical in that many other GLs are now recognized which ]
[ originally had similar or greater problems. ]
There, now I have gotten that off my chest. I have been building
up to that for some time now and I just wanted to get it out and do not
wish to offend any person, Mason or not.
I will close by stating that until such time as a majority of
Masons profess their creed by virtue of their actions as well as their
words, I will remain a non-Mason.
From: Stuart Lewis (email@example.com)
>Subject: Wiccan Masons
> I have received copies of this journal through a brother who
>thought I would be interested. I am attempting to read them but I
>would like to respond to a number of comments that have appeared a few
>issues back with regard to Wicca and Masons. ...............
Well, depending on how far back you're reading, you are most
likely referring to comments made by me. That would be Vol. 4, #5. I
went back and re-read it so it would be fresh.
> What I have read has contained a lot of hostility. From the
>Wiccans or pagans who are not Masons there has been a general
>misunderstanding of the fraternity and some impoliteness as to our
If you'll re-read that issue, and actually a few prior ones,
you'll see that originally, my comments were not aimed at individuals -
they were aimed at the subject matter itself which, I felt, was slowly
taking over the newsletter. It seemed that we were talking less and
less about Masonry, and more and more about the occult, withcraft,
paganism, druidism; trying to find ties and connections with Masonry,
My comments were an attempt to try and pound a stake through the
heart of the "witch" dialogue :-), and steer it back towards Masonic
dialogue - I felt that (still do) the mere presence and expenditure of
a lot of space on these topics might create a lot of unneeded and un-
welcome wariness by the non-Mason readers. (Re-read my opening
paragraphs where I asked some specific questions of the brethren
regarding lodge activity in an attempt to start a new thread).
>...............................I am somewhat hurt by the suggestion
>of some that I, as a Wiccan, might not be a proper candidate for
>Masonry. I hope to address the Masons who read and pray that they
>will look to this issue with the sense of brotherhood and Masonic
>charity that is in each Mason.
Done. However, with respect to your first sentence, my original
"rebutts", if you will, were prompted by a non-Mason wiccan who, in a
submittal regarding an appropriate VSL (Vol. 4, #2), proposed what
would be his version and where opened, then basically apologized for
having as much as a creed of conduct. He also made it apparent that he
was multi-theistic (something that Peter and I communicated about -
each of us learning something in the process) which, at least in my
jurisdiction (Washington state), is very clearly not allowed. Based on
these statements, I wrote what I wrote. It is obvious from your post
that there are more facets to this than I was aware. I do humbly
apologize to you for any offense taken.
> I would note that there seemed to be an assumption by some that
>there are no Wiccans who are Masons. This is not true. .......
I don't think I would assume that, but my position then, *based on
what had earlier been posted*, would be that the belief (wicca) was
incompatible with the tenets and landmarks of Freemasonry. However,
the flavor of your post tells me that what you believe is not the same
as what the prior person believed. (Are there different "sects" to
this, i.e. like Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Sunni, Shiite, etc?) (*I
just KNOW I'm going to re-start this whole thing all over again
> I would note that the fourth constitutional question previously
>posted requiring an acknowledged faith in *one* Supreme Being is not
>asked in our jurisdiction...
This also is in reference to one of my posts. The four questions
to which you refer were taken verbatim from the Washington Monitor And
Freemason's Guide. However, the they also appear, very slightly
re-written, on our Petition For The Degrees Of Freemasonry. I was
quite surprised that this is not standard everywhere. (again, Peter
and I corresponded to this point and he basically agreed that landmarks
point to this (monotheism) as the standard accepted belief.)
> ...I have only been asked if I profess faith
>in a Supreme Being and the honest answer is yes. ...
> ...No one has ever asked me how I
>conceive "God". I would not dream of asking that question of another
>brother. Neither do I feel that the question is relevant to Masonic
>values, if the previous question is answered honestly.
I agree wholeheartedly.
> My understanding of Masonry is that we are, at root, an
>organization based on the Universal brotherhood of all men as children
>of celestial parents. (I would note that this belief is supported by
>the discussion of Masonic tenets in one of the lectures in the first
>degree. The exact content thereof each Mason may review for himself.)
Ah, but here again (at least in Washington), the reference is
clearly monotheistic: "...who, created by one Almighty Parent and in-
habitants of the same planet..." (from the first of the three great
tenets - Peter, this is not considered secret in Washington - Stuart)
And indeed, this montheistic wording appears everywhere throughout the
lectures, charges and rituals of all three degrees. It is not that way
(* this anonymous submitter continued on with some very thought
provoking writing, which I removed for space. As Peter stated, we
can't know for sure whether this person really is a Mason, but I would
assume so. I, for one, feel that there is a very acute difference of
belief between this person and the previous Wiccan submitter. Based on
this latest submittion, I admit that I appear to have painted what may
be differing sects all with one brush. My education continues......
Again, to this individual I offer my apology for any offense taken or
perceived with respect to my original postings this spring.
P.M. King Soloman #60, F&AM
P.H.P. Rob't B. Palmer #46, RAM
[ PT: Stuart, you'll be missed. If you get on Compu$erve or some other ]
[ commercial service, I should be able to email the Digest. ]
Subject: Occult vs. Masonry
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 92 02:44:23 PDT
Open Letter to Bro. Brandon Ray:
Dear Bro. Brandon,
Thanx for taking the time to examine my ideas regarding THE Craft
& its relation to occultism, wicca, etc.
Because this is an "open" forum, I feel it is not appropriate to
discuss Masonry itself, due to our various obligations. As much as
possible , I live by my Masonic oaths instead of just observing the
ones I find convienent.
Masonry badly needs a way to comunicate with itself -- away from
"cowans & evesdroppers."
I spent nearly 20 years studying various types of occultism &
practicing many different religions; so I am able to clear up many
misconceptions about both of these areas that can be confusing.
Firstly, the difference between a "cult" and a genuine religion
-- cults may come and go, but a real religion must withstand the test
of time. Generally, religion refers to a belief system that has at
least one million "adherents" world-wide.
(Masonry has been very conservative about this. The G.L. of Utah
for many, many years didn't allow members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints (L.D.S.) sometimes wrongly refered to as
"Mormonism" -- to become Masons -- even though they have some seven
million members and are still growing!)
Cults are a whole subject of study in itself. Two good books are
"All God's Children" and "Youth, Brainwashing, & the Extreemist
Cults". These may be available at a large Christian bookstore & at
least one of them is published by Zondervan publishing. There are
very specific criteria for judging cults, which I won't go into here.
Next --about "wicca". Firstly it is correctly pronounced
"witch-ah" and is from the Welsh word meaning "bent or twisted".
Modent wicca abounds with hypocrisy and contradictions.
Witchcraft in any form was illegal in Great Britan untill 1951. Most
wiccans won't admit it, but their major r"religious" text ie. _The
Book of Shadows_ by Gerald Gardner was actually ghost-writtan by that
old devil-worshipper Aleister Crowley. (More on him later) Crowley's
hatred of Masonry caused him to try & add as much confusion between
Masonry & occultism as possible. That's why wiccans falsely refer too
what-they-do as "The Craft". (Read "A Witch's Bible" by Stewart &
Jane Farrar pub. by Magickal Childe Press for more on this.)
Wiccans worship a "horned-god" which they say has nothing to do
with the devil. You have to study the history of witchcraft in Great
Britan to understand all this denial of "the dark-side" which is
obviously transparently, false. Again we don't have the time here,
but FYI the term "white-witchcraft" was first used by William Seabrook
in his book "Witchcraft - its power in the world today". Also see
Marcello Truzzi's "The Occult revival as popular culture" and "The
Complete Witch or what to do when Virtue fails" by Anton LaVey (If you
can find it.)
At the administartive levels at least, there is little difference
between the "traditions" or "covens" etc. They are mostly led by
fugatives from the political left who have little to do these days
with the decline of communism.
Politically this all ties in with the anti-nuclear, or
environmental groups. The sad fact is that they have forgotten about
helping "people". The homeless and the hungry are helped by the
Christian Churches, The Masons, & service clubs like the Lions, Rotary
There is also a problem with rascism, & racial hatred, & that is
very dissapointing from people who claim that they're going to "save
the world". This is especially true among groups who are into Celtic
or Welsh traditions. Even mainstream racial hate groups draw upon
them for membership.
This isn't to say that Christian are completely free from these
problems, since they once accepted slave-owning as their devine-right;
however Christianity was founded to be a spiritual advancement from
paganism and its killing of animals & humans for religious ritual
reasons, just as Bhuddhism was founded to supercede Hinduism & the
Vedic sacrificial processes. Nothing is more backwords than believing
that a return to paganism is going (spiritually) a step forward.
I personally believe in the gods of Africa, Ancient Egypt,
the Native Americans, as well as the various oriental religions. And I
can still believe in fundamentalist Christianity. I see the unity
behind the diversity. It's really simple, but can only work if you
appreciate the humanity without self-deceit. Each set of gods
represents the spiritual nature of a specific people. If you don't
care about people, religion is a waste of time, or worse, a
rationalization for doing evil to any culture you may personally
There's no doubt, Masonry is the best system to see the truth
about all of mankind and its various beliefs and religions.
Now we shall look at the "other side of the coin" as it were.
Crowley's influence on mass-movements is beyond the scope of the
present effort, as is his elaborate system of "double-speak" he used
to shield himself from prosecution; however we can clear up the
questions regarding his relationship to both Masonry and satanism.
It was unfair of me to call Crowley a satanist, this is unfair to
the self-styled satanists who merely study the occult in its darker
Crowley was involved in what could be more correctly termed
"devil-worship". I could illustrate this with many facts, but space
not permitting, I'll use one story which can be found in Crowley's
"Confessions" his self-styled "autohagiography".
Crowley loved to shock people, particularly those of Victorian
England's upper crust.
He appeared at a "society-affair" one night, & promptly pulled
down his pants and defacated on the carpet. He then told the somewhat
amazed crowd that since he was "a god" that they should build a shrine
for his excrement and then worship it.
This is a good example of the Crowley attitude, and that of his
present day followers, who still find this kind of thing amusing.
FYI there is no such group as the Satanic Church of America, if
you refer to LaVey's Chuch of Satan, it is a one-man corporation
registered a s a profit-making corporation. I have the incorporation
papers of this and other groups in ASCII-textfile format as I am
planning to write a serious study on this phenomenon. There are at
least four different groups which could be called "Satanic-Churches"
but again, space limitations prevent more than mentioning this
I will include 3 definitions for you, from various reference
Firstly, the entry on Crowley from "Dictionary of Occultism
pub. by Doubleday:
CROWLEY,ALEISTER Scottish Satanist (1875-1947) founder of a cult
violently opposed to Christianity, and editor and author of many works
on the occult. His numerous magical writings include many articles
published in THE EQUINOX (a journal which he founded) & contributions
to a niumber of obscure magazines.) Here lists some of his better
Secondly: The definition of Satanism from A Catholic Dictionary
pub. by MacMillian Co.
SATANISM: The conscious worship of Satan by miscreants banded
together for the purpose. This worship finds expression in many
hidious and obscene ceremonies and in particular in a blasphemous
parody of the Sacrifice of the Mass, "the Black Mass". Though probably
there has been much exageration as to the prevalence of this
diabolical cult, it can hardly be questioned that it was practiced by
such charactors as Gilles de Rais, the Abbe Guibourg and Mme. do
Montespan, and that something of the sort persists today in holes and
corners. One of the principle objects of Satanists is to obtain
possession of the Consecrated Host in order to profain it.
(From "Painted Black" by Carl A. Raschke pub. Harper & Row SF
1990.) Satanism is not a new religion..it is a sophisticated and
highly effective motivational system for the spread of violence and
cultural terrorism. Satanism today is not - if it ever has been- a
rejection of middle class values and a somewhat ingenuous expression
of chronic adolescent 'alienation'...it is the gestation of a
permanent terrorist subculture in America.
My writing on Crowley and Masonry will have to be continued next
time, as there isn't enough space here.
L. Stevenson 32~
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