Freemasonry called a cult

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by BWiederhold, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Not much. There can be absolutely no good to come from getting into a conversation with someone who has already made up his mind.
    I don't. I know the truth. Freemasonry doesn't require defense.
    I smile and sometimes laugh. Then I walk away. Such discussions are like talking to walls that lean into your head and bang it hard.
     
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  2. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Well, there is a joke that I sometimes tell. It is not a very polite joke. I have to be careful when and where I use it. If this joke offends anyone I sincerely apologize. I say:

    "You know the difference between a cult and a religion don't you? In a cult there is one guy at the very top who knows that it is all bullshit, in a religion that guy is dead.

    Oh, I am going to hell for that one.
     
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  3. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    I'm definitely using that one, hopefully I'm fully aware of my surroundings!
     
  4. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Interesting story... I was at dinner with a co-worker when he saw my masonic ring. He said, "whoa, when did you join a cult?"

    All I could do was face palm.
     
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  5. Rick Carver

    Rick Carver Premium Member

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    A "cult" is usually what a big church calls a little church.
     
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  6. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Sounds like a very good response.
     
  7. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I don't. In fact, in Kentucky, we are expressly told not to defend the Craft.
     
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Thanks for the info brother. I have been an MM for less than a year and did not know this.
     
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  9. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Brother, it isn't something that is in the proficiency, so it's easy enough to miss. It is during the EA degree and it comes up in two places. The first is at the very end of the degree (top of page 55 in my monitor, though it might be different in reprints) and the second is in An Address to a Newly Initiated Brother at the bottom of page 57.
     
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  10. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    Cult comes to us from the Latin word "cultus" meaning "worship, devotion, or reverence". Looking at the dictionary we see "cult" defined as follows:

    noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
    7. the members of such a religion or sect.​

    Freemasonry doesn't fit this definition because Masonic Lodges are not places of worship. Freemasonry is religious, but far from being a religion or a religious institution (ie church, synagogue, mosque, etc). We also do not force our members to live outside of "conventional society" nor do we have a singular "charismatic leader".

    We do have rites, rituals, ceremonies, but that is far from making an organization a cult.

    Here are some characteristics of a cult:

    Leadership: A cult will have a living leader who is self-appointed, has absolute authoritarian/totalitarian control, is accountable to no one, and is often messianic with a special mission or cause.

    Truth: The leader, and sometimes the group, are in possession of a credible "truth". Often this surrounds some notion of salvation which can only be attained from affiliation with that particular cult. Only knowledge from the group is credible and often critical thinking is prohibited.

    Devotion: The members must submit to all orders of the leader without question or inquiry. Promote dependency of the members upon the group.

    Finances: Members are often required to turn over most if not all of their assets to help fund operations and the cause of the leader. Again, with the "no question" policy, there is no transparency in regards to where the assets are stored, used, or spent.

    Profane world: There is instilled an illogical fear of the outside world. Members are often cut off or isolated from their pre-cult friends, families, and society. They have the polarized "us versus them" mentality.

    Recruiting: Use deceptive methods in recruiting such as crisis creation, deepening a confessed guilt or fear, or state that they have all the answers.

    Leaving: There is no legitimate reason to leave the cult. Members who do leave are criticized and seen as evil. ​

    You can find more here: http://www.prem-rawat-talk.org/forum/uploads/CultCharacteristics.htm

    Having looked at all the information, I'd have to say NO, Freemasonry is not a cult.

    Our leaders/officers are elected or appointed by an elected officer, not self appointed. Least of all, do we have to do as bidden without question.

    Masonry don't claim to possess some hidden secret that will give us salvation from God's Judgment.

    There is no dependency or entitlement syndrome placed upon Freemasons.

    The finances are tracked and, at least in my Lodge/Grand Lodge, audited annually; the Grand Lodge audit done by an independent auditor when a new Grand Secretary or Grand Treasurer is elected.

    Freemasons are not cut off from the world or family/friends that we knew previous to joining Freemasonry.

    Freemasonry doesn't recruit, but even to prospective members, we don't lie nor do we use deceptive means to bring them into our fold.

    Lastly, Freemasons leave the group all the time. Some leave for poor reasons while others leave for personal or financial reasons. It just depends on the man.

    I would point out though that many of these characteristics fit the description of some of the anti-Masons I have met.
     
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  11. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I always thought of "cult" as a shortening of "occult". Of course "occult" means something hidden or secret. Looking back to the ancient mystery schools, the knowledge they imparted by their rituals was considered secrets of the highest value. It is my opinion that these mystery schools were the progenitor to many of the modern "mysteries", from which evolved the superstructure of Freemasonry. In my eyes, "occult" is quite a good word to describe our fraternity, but perhaps not in the modern context of the word "cult". My .02
     
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  12. Psalm 133

    Psalm 133 Registered User

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    I would argue that many clandestine groups also fit this definition. Many of them have appointed leaders who will remain in that position until they die or choose to step down, and who are paid princely sums while in power. Meanwhile, Freemasonry is eminently democratic, with fair elections, short terms of office, and little compensation for the officers. In fact, I believe my grand lodge only pays for mileage to and from official functions... and even that is a new development.
     
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I looked these items up. I've read the Monitor through twice but just did not pick up on this. Thank you brother.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Umm, I think the Duke of Kent has now served 50 years. Many of us have appointed terms that can extend to age 80 or thereabouts (SGIG SJ) or to ten years (RCC IG) or even no limitation (KYCH personal rep). I'm aware the GM of Mass received a six figure salary. Not all GLs will elect their leaders by the membership.
     
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  15. bezobrazan

    bezobrazan Registered User

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    It's been called a lot worse. When stupidity becomes a giant boulder I just step aside & let it roll by.
     
  16. Psalm 133

    Psalm 133 Registered User

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    I know the appendant bodies have appointed positions but as far as blue lodge goes, there is no equivalent to how clandestine masons run their organizations.
     
  17. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    LOL - I think this is the best visual for dealing with the profane that I have ever heard.
     
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  18. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    Do not let your zeal ....
     
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  19. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    But see my comments regarding UGLE and MASS above which contradict your comments indicating it is clandestine organizations which have life tIme leaders and salaries.
     
  20. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    Doesn't GLNY also elect a MWGM for 2-years?
     

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