Bill Clinton’s Memories as ... a De Molay
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Summer 1998) - What does William Jefferson Clinton think of his De Molay experience? “I have a lot of memories of De Molay. Really rich ones and all good. I enjoyed learning all the parts of the ritual... it meant a lot to me. I think it helped me develop my mind and helped me to develop my speaking ability. I remember the projects we did and the work that I did as a member of the team. Since I was an only child until I was aged ten and came from a small family, working with other people was a very important lesson I learned. A lot of my close friends today are people I met when I was in De Molay.” During his period with the Hot Springs Chapter of De Molay, the future President served as a Master Counsellor and later, in 1964, he received his Degree of Chevalier : the highest honour an active De Molay can receive. He is remembered by one member of De Molay at the time (now a successful banker) as “earnest and determined. It was obvious that he was proud to be a De Molay and it was equally obvious that he would get on in life. I don’t think any of his friends appreciated just how far he would get, but I for one am not surprised!” Clinton’s words of praise for the Society are not Political Speak, they are genuine words of affection. One action epitomised this when, during a visit to the Philippines in November 1996 for the Apec Summit, Clinton sent his security men into a flap when he decided to make an unscheduled helicopter flight to a De Molay meeting. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported : “In a clear breach of protocol, Clinton - the most watched and tightly guarded man during the summit - made an unscheduled stop, flying in from Subic at the Quirino Grandstand to receive an award from the local chapter of a Masonic group of which he was once a member. Clinton met a group from the Order of Molay of the Philippines to receive the Grand Master’s Maltese Cross Award for his outstanding service and continuing concern for the welfare and development of youth.”


It Doesn't Have to Be Like This
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Autumn 1997) - The Case for a More Meaningful Masonry by Julian Rees Argues - Try this and see how it fits. "Freemasons belong to an organisation which ought to be dedicated to self-knowledge, the nature of being, love, tolerance, the brotherhood of man, liberty of conscience and, yes, perhaps a brush with the Deity on the way. However, we have become bogged down in systems resembling officaldom, obsession with promotion to higher rank, discussions about precedence, confused notions about God, the relative merits of this or that dining venue and the parrotting without meaning of what is in itself a very meaningful ritual ... So how about it? What is our daily advancement in masonic knowledge, and how do we go about this business of inner growth, of improvement, or is it all empty words ?

Creation and The Great Architect of the Universe
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Summer 1999) - Can the Great Architect be defined ? by Giuliano Di Bernardo - "For to have such a specific conception might imply that Freemasonry had its own divinity and could be seen as a religion. But if it were a religion, we would then have to explain why it is open to people of different religious persuasions. It would also have its own theological answers, different from those of other religions, which it would try to impose or defend, causing conflicts with other religions and thereby precluding the possibility of its being universal. If we want to avoid this difficulty, we must not think of Freemasonry as a religion. In that case, there is no masonic god, and consequently the possibility of his having created the world does not arise. The God of Freemasons is the God of whichever religion masons believe in. What then is the significance of the Great Architect of the Universe? If he is not a God in the true sense of the positive religions, what is he ?"

Freemasonry and Natural Religion
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Spring 2000) - The religious understanding of the first Constitutions by Robert Peter - "Freemasonry is thus open to men of all religions who believe in a Supreme Being.” (UGLE, Freemasonry and Christianity: Evidence on the Compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity, Church House Publishing, London 1986, p.11). Looking at English Freemasonry as a whole, it may be said that 1815 rather than 1723 was really the date on which the final break with an explicitly Christian frame of reference took place. The spirit of Anderson triumphed after the rivalries, as the Antients had to sacrifice their Christianity; religious universality and natural religion were established. Freemasonry became a lowest-common-denominator of religions, it became a Religion behind religions in which all men agreed, excluding only “the stupid atheist and irreligious libertine.”

Ethics and Religion in Freemasonry
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Autumn 2000) - The relationship between religion and Freemasonry by Giuliano di Bernardo - "Deism in its different acceptations essentially indicates a natural religion based on reason, and resulting from the intersection of all religions. The God deriving from it, is the deistic God. Anderson, therefore, replaces Christian religion, expression of a particular faith, with the universal religion of deism. He does nothing but replacing a religion with another religion, both of which have to be interpreted in their ontological meaning. Since the deistic God does not identify himself with a religion, according to the above definition he is the Masonic God. Thus Freemasonry not only has a religion, but it is a religion itself. Speculative Freemasonry (the present situation): The dechristianisation of Freemasonry, started with Anderson's Constitutions, is interpreted by many Freemasons as renouncement of religiousness. To avoid controversies on this point, the Grand Lodge of London, who issued the Constitutions, forbids any religious and political discussion in the Lodge, after the example of the Royal Society. Yet it did not succeed in avoiding a deep split in English Freemasonry."

The Inner Voice of Freemasonry
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Winter 2003) - On The Deeper Meaning Of Freemasonry by Njördur P. Njardvik - "When we enter the Lodge at our initiation we undertake a symbolic journey into ourselves which offers the opportunity of a real transformation of realising who we really are. The key to this is change. If our initiation and our masonic progress through the degrees does not change us then the whole masonic undertaking is in vain. We have not been able to hear the silent inner voice of Freemasonry, or hearing it, have not heeded its message."

Freemasonry Book Review
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Spring 2003) - The Revival of Magick and Other Essays by William Breeze and Richard Kaczynski - "Edward Alexander Crowley (pen name ‘Aleister’, 1875-1947) was a superb polemical writer, in many respects a ‘writers’ writer’, so far was he removed from the common mind of his (and certainly our) time. His lucid thought frequently found expression in masonic-style maxims and images – the reference to the Keystone above is one of many examples. In his Confessions Aleister Crowley writes of having received the 33° of the Scottish Rite from Don Jesus de Medina in Mexico City in 1900, having entered Craft Masonry in Paris at the invitation of the chaplain to the British Embassy. For the UGLE, Lodge No 343 ‘Anglo-Saxon’ was an irregular lodge, but that did not stop a member of a regular English Provincial lodge from joining it. Crowley also worked as Inspector General to Grand Hierophant 97° John Yarker’s (‘irregular’) Rite of Memphis and Mizraim ... This is all, arguably, a great shame. By shunning “the demon Crowley”, regular Freemasonry may have been ejecting something vital of its own soul ... Crowley remains a riddle, and one suspects he would have liked that. Properly understood, Masonry itself is also a riddle, and is in no position to judge the riddles of her children. The Revival of Magick, a very readable and fascinating collection of Crowley’s essays, was written mainly for long-since defunct magazines between World War One and the spiritually thirsty Thirties. It has been put together by William Breeze (of the US-based Ordo Templi Orientis – a masonically irregular and unrecognised body by UGLE) and Richard Kaczynski PhD. Their editing is judicious and almost excessively informative – a footnote tells us who the Prophet Mohammed was, including his dates ... For those who would like to know something of the unique mind of Aleister Crowley, often expressed clearly in his own words, this book is not a bad place to start. signed -- Tobias Churton."

Not a Crime, But a Sin ? {to be a Freemason}
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Winter 2005) - Discuusions between Freemasonry and the Catholic Church by Axel Pohlmann - " ... As church law does not specifically forbid masonic membership, and the law must be strictly interpreted, there can be no crime in being a member of a lodge - this does not include an association like the former Italian lodge P2. In contrast, a man sins if he knows that it is morally wrong to be a mason; he doesn't sin if he is convinced in his conscience that there is no moral wrong inherent in Masonic membership. The statement of the experts on Church law may be rendered more comprehensible by an analogy: taking the birth-control pill is not a Church crime, but has been defined a sin by Pope Paul VI."

What is {Freemasonry's} Central Purpose ?
FREEMASONRY TODAY (Spring 2008) - The Place for Spirituality by Derek Bain - "This brings us to the question of spirituality. Let us be clear about one thing: there is no automatic link between religion and spirituality. Can religious ceremony create feelings of spirituality? Yes. Can Masonic ritual invoke feelings of spirituality? Yes. Can mountains, lakes, and deserts, for example, conjure up feelings of deep spirituality? Yes. I would argue, therefore, that in order to maximise the learning experience of the Candidate we should be actively aiming to create a sense of spirituality in our rituals. Otherwise what are we doing? The process of initiation delivers the learning aided by our ability to bring solemnity and spirituality to our proceedings. Our Ritual is our jewel in the crown. As we progress in delivering the ritual, so we learn; and it is not just in the words! It is a subtle and sublimely crafted system created by people who really knew what they were doing. The delivery of meaningful ritual is perhaps the central critical purpose of Freemasonry. From this purpose, brotherly love, relief and truth naturally follow."

THE LIGHTBRINGERS : (History of Freemasonry)

Lucifer's Shriner finally tells the Truth
This is one mixed up Mason

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