Organized crime as the foundation for Freemasonry

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by hanzosbm, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I completely agree with you. But in this case, we can see that at least for early operative masons, they were in fact doing something wrong. Now, was that the reason for the secrecy? Hard to tell. And even if it was, what happened in the middle? We have a group of operative masons doing something illegal. We have modern speculative masons who are doing good deeds. At some point in the middle, the reason for the secrecy changed. Was it just for tradition? Were they trying to hide something different during that time? I doubt we'll ever know.
     
  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
     
  3. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I came across something interesting regarding the operative masons and practices that may have filtered down.

    In the History of the Masonic persecutions in different quarters of the globe, with an introductory essay; and Masonic Institutes by George Oliver from 1867, he talks about possible origins of the name Freemason, he writes the following:

    "Others have derived the institution of Freemasons from a combination among the Masons, not to work without an advance of wages, when they were summoned from several counties, by writs of Edward III., directed to the sheriffs, to assist in rebuilding and enlarging the castle, together with the church and chapel of St. George, at Windsor. Accordingly, it is said that the Masons agreed on certain signs and tokens, by which they might know one another, and assist one another against being impressed, and not to work unless free, and on their own terms."

    Going back to my argument in the original paper, the operative Masons didn't want the powers that be forcing them to work on jobs against their will.
    Is it possible that our modern requirement that the request be of a man's own free will and accord is a way of allowing the lodge to safeguard against unwilling workers?
    Let's say Bob is told by his local Sheriff that he MUST report for a building project that he doesn't want to work at. Legally, he can't refuse, so, against his will he reports to the job site. Upon first gaining entrance, he is asked if it be of his own free will and accord. Bob answers that, no, it is not. No problem, the Master denies him admission. Bob avoids being pressed into work he doesn't want in a legal way by benefit of the lodge.

    I this there is strong evidence for this.
     
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  4. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I do it frequently. If I see an old thread and the topic really interests me then I revive it for further discussion.
     
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  5. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    Inigo Jones Manuscript:
    "And He gave them a Charge in this Manner.
    FIRST that they should be true to the King and to the Lord, that they Serve; and To the Fellowship whereof they are Admitted; And that they should Love and be true to one another; And that they should Call Each other his Fellow, or Else BROTHER; and not his Servant Knave, nor no other soul Name; And that they should truely deserve their Pay of the Lord; Or the Master of the Work, that they Serve."

    Please note that this charge is indicated as "FIRST". In all versions of the Legend of The Craft there is a similar statement. Freedom it is not exactly arbitrariness. Surely it was not for ancient Brothers.
     
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  6. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I'm not sure I understand your meaning. Are you saying that early operative Masons must have obeyed the laws because of that first charge?
     
  7. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    What I'm saying is that ancients Masons had to respect these charges. Obviously I cannot say anything about the personal ethics of each Mason, but why I should assume that they were not honest and they were only "obliged to be honest"? The indications left in the Legend tell the contrary, that is that they had a big respect of the law. Moreover in many versions of the Charges there is the clear advice to invite the Sheriff to take part to the assembly when there were difficult disputes to be solved.

    From Cooke's manuscript, for example:

    The 9th Point,--If he be wiser,
    and subtler than his fellow
    working with him in his
    lodge, or any other place,
    and he perceive it that he should
    leave the stone that he worketh up-
    on, for default of cunning,
    and can teach him and a-
    mend the stone, he shall in-/form
    him and help him, that the more
    love may increase among them,
    and that the work of the lord be not
    lost. When the master and the fel-
    lows be forewarned [and] are
    come to such congregations,
    if need be, the Sheriff of the
    Country, or the Mayor of the
    City, or Alderman of the Town,
    in which the congregations is
    holden, shall be fellow, and [as] soci-
    ate, to the master of the congre-
    gation, in help of him, against re-
    bels and [for the] up-bearing the right
    of the realm.

    Perhaps I can have translated bad but it seems to me that the Sheriff or the Mayor or the Alderman were not necessarily Masons, but they can be invited to support the Master of the Lodge (an in this case they had to be considered as fellows) and I have big difficulties to image seriously a band of criminals that call the police to assist to one of their secret meeting in their den to discuss about the behavior of one of the member of the band.;)
     
  8. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Well, while I completely agree with you, my original post is packed full of very specific references to Mason's specifically circumventing the laws.
     
  9. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

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    Which masons? There is no doubts that guild of masons existed, like guild of carpenters, tailors, bakers, fishermen, weavers etc. In Italy every town had plenty of them, like in all Europe. It is likely that they have tried to "adjust" or "circumvent" laws for their interests but this does not means that ancient masons (construction workers) were connected with Freemasonry and I'm pretty sure about this. The example above was simply to show that the principle to respect the law was one of the basic elements of Freemasonry.

    One of the aspects that I think that none has noted is that in case of needs ancient Freemansons did not go to the Authority but the Authority was invited to attend to the meeting, which means that they role in the society was enough "powerful" to allow them to decide to let the Authority in or not. I do not think that this was possible in a worker's guild.
     
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  10. bro cue

    bro cue Registered User

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