AOl News is running an interesting piece today entitled Secret Societies Splashed Across Headlines .
Secret societies and political intrigue are a staple of novels and movies now to the point of being almost laughable. But there is some truth to it. It is a fact that elites and others vie to enter these societies.
As a Blue Lodge Freemason myself and having been a long standing member of both the Martinist Order and the Rosicrucian Order for many years as well as having been active in Scottish Rite Masonry and the Shriners I have more than my share of secret society memberships.
When I was attending Catholic college I was an active member in the Knights of Columbus. Previous to that college experience in Maryland I had been a Roman Catholic seminarian studying for priesthood in Philadelphia. Talk about social inbreeding in order to initiate group-think! Wow!
To be honest, I have never once found anything more dangerous among the more esoteric and ancient societies membership than a wobbly walking cane, a tendency to extreme conservatism in social and political affiiliations and a sort of “bunker mentality” relative to the rest of humanity.
There seems to be a need among many humans to “belong” and these orders and societies fit the bill. I pay my dues. I have not been to Lodge in years. At one time it was very important to me that I be active in all of these organizations. Those days have pretty much passed for me now.
But I must admit, even at my low level of participation, I was always able to pick up a sort of “mystic longing” among the various members of the esoteric orders to which I belong(ed). They were dead serious. This was not tomfoolery. They meant every single ritual, every insight, every paradigm as a rule to guide their lives. It was often humbling and I never once remember it as being scary.
I never saw anything to worry about among the membership.
Yet there were always rumors. There were certain Masonic lodges in Europe during the 17th to19th Centuries that were frankly quiet dangerous. Rumor had it that Ben Franklin was a member of a certain fringe element devil-worshipping lodge. I have never been able to verify that.
About a dozen or so signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons. Washington was a Freemason. So were many other Presidents and high office individuals in our nation’s history.
All in all, I have never found anything to fear in any of this except that some of these organizations are extremely elite and allow only the very wealthy, the very connected, the very born-into-power to belong. Skull and Bones comes to mind.
So what does it all mean? I am not sure. But one thing is sure. Whether an American politician belongs to a secret society or not, he has an obligation to serve the people, regardless of what his affiliation in that organization calls for him to present as a working paradigm for action.
I no more care if an American politician is a Freemason or Rosicrucian or a member of the Eastern Star than I care whether or not he/she is a Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, non-believer or Seventh Day Adventist. I just want him or her to represent his constituency fairly and justly.
Is that too much to ask?
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)