Friday, January 08, 2010

The Masons Need to Keep Secret


My Uncle Sid used to work at a furniture store in Queens. He was a wonderful guy, and died some years ago. He was proud of serving in the Army in World War II and stayed with the Army reserves until his retirement. That's about all I knew about him, aside from the usual family stuff.

So it came as a surprise when I learned after his death that he was a third thirty-second-degree Mason! Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. That's pretty dang high, and I never heard a thing about it while he was alive.

I knew nothing about the Masons, except that they were secretive and that Hitler didn't like them. Weren't they tied up with the Illuminati or something? But then I learned that people like George Washington and Winston Churchill used to be Masons, that the conspiracy theories about them are a lot of rot, and then I thought of joining the Masons myself. Hey, it's a secret society. Sounded kind of neat.

I took a look at the initiation fees and lost interest. Besides, I didn't know any Masons except my uncle, and he wasn't around.

So I was intrigued by the New York Times op-ed today by Holly Brubach on how the Masons are shedding their secretive ways. Personally I think that's a mistake.

One of the things that makes the Masons intriguing is that they're secretive. It's what you call a "marketing device." It almost persuaded me to look into joining, and I never join anything. Without the secrecy, the Freemasons are just another social club.

UPDATE: I'm told my uncle was a thirty-second degree Mason, not a third degree Mason as I indicated earlier. Zowie. I had no idea.

© 2010 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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