Edict Against Esotericism?

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. I thought I had heard just about everything as far as Grand Master edicts go, but this one boggles the mind. It was issued this week by Derek J. Robson, Grand Master of New South Wales & Australian Capitol Territory (NSW & ACT) Australia. In it, he takes on the subject of esotericism and research. And not in a good way. I am almost speechless over the implications of it.
    On 12 May 2010 the Board of Management passed a resolution stating the principles governing esoteric research. These principles are central to the practice of Regular Freemasonry. In order that there be no doubt that they bind every brother and Lodge in this jurisdiction I have decided to make them the subject of a Grand Master's edict. At my request the Board of Management has rescinded its resolution so that it may be substituted with the following edict which takes effect immediately.
    1. Authorised, official Masonic Education and Instruction is only 'Regular' when applied to Free and Accepted or Speculative Masonry (Regular Freemasonry).
    2. Because of the widely divergent interpretations which can be placed upon it, I am concerned about the unqualified use of the word "esoteric", or any of its derivatives or extensions, within Regular Freemasonry. Such use needs to be avoided as it has been and can be misconstrued to the detriment of the Craft.
    3. I encourage all Masons to make daily progress in the acquisition of Masonic knowledge. Speculation and discussion within the Landmarks of the Order are to be commended.
    4. Within Regular Freemasonry, interpretive discussion and exposition concern only the progressive acquisition of Masonic knowledge towards an understanding of the secrets and mysteries of the Craft, promoting the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. To avoid any misapprehension, such regular discussion and exposition shall be described as "speculative" and the term "esoteric" shall not be applied.
    5. Regular Freemasonry does not permit within it any form of esotericism which encompasses or tends towards – occultism, sorcery, alchemy, astrology, profane mysticism, transcendentalism, supernaturalism, druidism, rosicrucianism, satanism or any concept or movement related to any of these. The presentation, endorsement and/or promotion of such subjects in any Lodge holding under the UGL of NSW and ACT whether the Lodge be open, adjourned, at refreshment or closed or at any connected or associated Lodge function should be deemed irregular and is strictly forbidden.
    6. Any breach of this Edict constitutes serious unmasonic conduct and shall be treated accordingly.
    7. The Grand Master from time to time may grant dispensations to permit the presentation of papers on esotericism which would otherwise constitute a breach of this edict. A dispensation may be granted on such terms and conditions as the Grand Master may impose. An application for a dispensation must be made to the Grand Master in writing through the Grand Secretary. Normally it will only be granted if the proposed paper is a genuine and proper piece of masonic research.
    New South Wales & Australian Capitol Territory (NSW & ACT) Australia.​

  2. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    (2) I thought The widely divergent opinions were not only common but expected and regulary accepted. Mine may be different, and I may believe mine is right, but I do allow for disagreement.
    How does unqualified become qualified?
    I can understand his willingness to avoid "misapprehension" (4), but to some on the outside, to replace the word with another gives the appearance of hiding something.

    Interesting indeed.
  3. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    While I think I understand the purpose of this edict, I still think censorship within the Masonic Fraternity is wholly against our ideals and far too pervasive in our news these days.
  4. BEDickey

    BEDickey Premium Member

    Wow, I'm glad I'm in the USA! I study all of those! At least Hermeticism is not on the list, then I wouldn't even want to visit.
  5. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

    Come on, I posted this a day before in the International Forum, this can't be a shock to you guys. :)

    Unless you ignore my posts, which is reasonable. ;)

    -Bro Vick
  6. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    Sorry Bro Vick , I simply overlooked it.
  7. Dion

    Dion Guest

    Perhaps the GL of NSW will mandate that Freemasons for Dummies is all you need to know.

    Speaking of which . . . News Bot . . . do you have any updates on the allegations that Hodapp was (some time ago I take it) expelled by the GL of Indiana, the K of the N were assembled in response, and that the Ventriloquist and others were alleged to be in discussions with Alain Bauer about Grand Orient opportunities?

    And why is it . . . News Bot . . . that so many of your contributions are an airing of dirty laundry and every time the "more" button is depressed, we are immediately linked to the Freemasons for Dummies blog?

    Why is that . . . News Bot? Inquiring minds want to know.
  8. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    Probably because the News Bot is automatically linked to several Masonic sites/blogs/newsfeeds, and autoupdates when someone updates said sites. Bro. Hodapp's blog is one of those sites. News Bot isn't a person. Just a line of code that makes a post when certain sites update.

    I do believe Bro. Hodapp updates his blog more than many of the other sites, which is why many, many times the news stories are taken from said blog. If one of the other linked sites were to start updating on a regular basis, they would be the linked news article.
  9. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I hate to say it, but I would have a difficult time with this if it happened here in Texas.

    Granted, there's nothing going on remotely esoteric in most lodges I've attended, but an edict like this more or less assures Freemasonry won't be anything but a 'good ol' boys club' while it's in affect.
  10. Dion

    Dion Guest

    Thanks for the update, Bro. Benton. It's good to know you aren't single-sourcing your news feed, even though by default, you are. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that . . . News Bot was a real person.

    I have a couple of search engines that provide news from around the globe on items of Masonic interest. As I'm sure you are aware, it is fairly simple to set up. The secret, as I'm sure you are also aware, is the search string. On topics pertaining to our mutual interest, the most common search word is "Freemasons", which I believes speaks volumes if you think about it. Not "Masonic", or "Freemasonry", or "Freemason", but rather, "Freemasons". It doesn't get you the most hits, it is just the most common search term.

    So, there are lots of news stories, not all of them interesting. Call me old school, but my opinion is What Happens in the Lodge Stays in the Lodge. There are what appear to me to be internal documents being shared on public web sites that imho, shouldn't be there (I constantly remind myself that we aren't in a tyled lodge here). But there are stories that some might find interesting.

    For example: How Masons Celebrate Rizal's Birthday | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

    Not as spicy as expulsions and lawsuits, though. Not as potentially lucrative as hawking the Masonic Society, etc. Why not highlight and focus on the good news that is out there in the public domain? Because as we know, it doesn't sell as well, and for some, Freemasonry has become big business.

    Perception is a matter of choice, in many ways. If this institution is predicated on unity and harmony, why would so much space be devoted to matters that engender exactly the opposite? At the end of the day, why would I care (given that I don't live in NSW) that the GM of New South Wales has an issue with esotericism? In many ways, he isn't unique, although GLs here (USA) typically recommend that Candidates shouldn't be confused, and care should be exhibited when recommending research/reading materials.

    Thanks for your reply.

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