Why the word bogus when speaking of illegal freemasonry?

Discussion in 'Prince Hall Freemasonry' started by Bro.BruceBenjamin, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Bro.BruceBenjamin

    Bro.BruceBenjamin Premium Member

    The word “bogus” is a word that has been used for a very, very long time. It can be traced as far back as 1797. It was then used to define a machine that made counterfeit coins, it actually meant, “fake”. So why the word “bogus” when dealing with illegal Freemasonry? Many are use to the word “clandestine” as mentioned in many of our rituals, but very few know what the word “bogus” means, its origin or derivation.

    Henry Wilson Coil in his Masonic Encyclopedia reveals that; “the term was first used Masonically in the Constitutions of 1784 issued by the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) but is not eminently appropriate to the use made of it. It means secret, hidden, private, or concealed, which might be said of the many Masonic bodies.” Coil then defines the word as meaning; “underhanded, stealthy, sly, furtive, but many so-called clandestine bodies are quite open, aggressive, ambitious, and eager to defend themselves.” Macoy’s Encyclopedia describes clandestine Lodges as “Lodges which have been formed by avaricious Freemasons, who take money from those people who have no idea of the difference between warranted Regularly Constituted Grand Lodge and one that is not Regularly constituted.” This meant that these Lodges/Grand Lodges were greedy for gain in seeking and attempting to hoard riches from their members and potential candidates. Brother Kit Haffner, in Joseph A. Walkes book, “A Prince Hall Masonic Quiz Book” states; “Members of these organizations are to be treated as if they were not Mason”.

    One of the biggest feuds in Freemasonry in the early to mid 1700’s was between the Moderns and the Antients. The Moderns undoubtedly regarded any Mason made in an “Antients” Lodge as having been initiated in a clandestine manner. The members who assisted in ceremonies or even associated with an “Antient Mason” could be excluded, censured and even expelled.

    As the practice of illegal Masonry grew within our Fraternity, to keep what was deemed unlawful, regular bodies tried keeping illegal masonry from flourishing and hoodwinking the innocent who came across those that were considered “Irregular”. An irregular lodge is one not entitled to Masonic recognition no matter how slight the irregularity. Irregularity can vary and have various degrees in nature. An example of this can be made mentioned of the hybrid Masonic body of 1847 under the name and title “The “National Grand Lodge.” This body today is not the same National Grand Lodge of 1847 and in many instances scholars and researchers of Freemasonry have considered this body “bogus”. However, we will later speak of the word “Bogus”, its definition and why it is used today. Some irregular bodies are irregular for not having a VSL displayed. As far as the irregular Grand Lodge/Lodge this can be corrected by what is called a healing process. An irregular Lodge is actually one not being or acting in accordance with the laws, rules, or established customs of the fraternity. A clandestine body can be both irregular and clandestine.

    Spurious is another term used to define illegal bodies calling themselves Masonic. Spurious can be considered bodies of illegitimate birth, outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities. It is a so-called Masonic entity that falsifies or erroneously attributes its origin to some non-existing Masonic source. It is deceitful in nature. Remember, if a thing is false, it cannot be a fact in its representation. The only fact is that a spurious Lodge is a false Masonic body. The word “spurious” was used in England as far back as 1824 when they considered lodge No. 557 spurious. This spurious Lodge met at an inn called, “The White Bear” and thereafter “The Royal Hotel. Many who are spurious or even part of a spurious body do not know the origin of his Grand Lodge/Lodge, and are hoodwinked with false pretense that he has joined a respectful organization thinking that its main objective and cause is for the upliftment of humanity, never noticing fraud or deceit. Many good Men have been sucked into these organizations by way of ignorance. They, along with clandestine and irregular bodies, have often used the false history of Masonry and in particular the history of Prince Hall Freemasonry. They have used the mud throwing of calling us paupers of charters, beggars of recognition, and even calling Prince Hall Masons racist of their own kind, not knowing that although an organization with a make up of predominately men of color, we have hundreds of white Brothers in our ranks.

    Now, for the word “bogus”. This word has been used as far back as the late 1800’s in Masonry. One who used the word was the Grand Secretary of Arkansas (PHA), by the name of J.C. Corbin. This word has been avoided by illegal Masons and regular Masons alike. The misunderstanding is that they feel it is disrespectful to use the word. Some have gone on record to say that the word is”slang” and indeed it has been used as slang in specific accounts; however, this does not eliminate the truth of the meaning of the word. Mis-education on such a subject that describes the very false image of “Bogus” outfits is an injustice to the forefathers of Prince Hall Masonry. I have seen, heard, and read, how the misunderstanding of this word has taken regular Mason off their course in protecting this gentle Fraternity because their ignorance of the knowledge of the word “Bogus.” Some go as far to say that it sounds “ghetto”.

    The word “bogus” comes from the word “boko”, meaning “deceit” or “fraud” in the Hausa language of West Central Africa. One theory would be that the word would have been brought over by Africans sold into slavery in America. Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 24 million people, and as a second language by about 15 million more. Native speakers of Hausa are mostly to be found in the African country of Niger and in the north of Nigeria, but the language is widely used as a lingua franca (similar to Swahili in East Africa) in a much larger swathe of West Africa, particularly amongst Muslims. Hausa is an official language in the north of Nigeria. The West African English word (Sierra Leone) bogo-bogo, and the Louisiana-French word bogue, which also means fake, fraudulent, and phony. The ending of the word "bogus" is part of the words hocus-pocus. Another theory is that "bogus" may have arisen in criminal slang as a short form of "tantrabogus," which was evidently a 19th century slang term for an odd-looking or menacing object, having some authorities to believe that "bogus" might be linked to "bogy" or "bogey" (as in "bogey man").

    The word “bogus”, circulated widely once introduced into our language and began to count for more than just counterfeit money. In 1827, in Painesville Ohio, a machine that made fake coins was called a “bogus”. It then meant counterfeit money by 1848. By the mid 1800s, the word “bogus” meant anything fake, as it does nowadays. Recorded in our American history is a “bogus” legislature in 1852 and a “bogus’ lottery tickets in 1856. Also in 1859 it is known in the history of the American courts of the “bogus” life insurance company scams. By 1860, any jewelry that was not diamond, gold, silver, or any authentic stone or metal was considered “bogus” jewelry. History even speaks of the “bogus” piano tuner in 1887. So the word “Bogus” has been around for a very long time and it defines all things fake and fraudulent.

    Many Freemasons have adopted the word to describe so-called Masonic operations that perform functions and exert power and influence over blind innocent men. Masonic operations that work without authority, the common customs and traditions of Freemasonry are considered “BOGUS”. This is evident, especially when the word started to be strongly used after the Thomson Masonic Fraud in 1922. In the recent past though sometime used as a slang expression, the word “bogus” in not a slang word in the real sense today as it is now part of our official vocabulary. The reason for this is because the word “bogus” has been used for so long that it is not an informal nonstandard vocabulary word composed typically of coinage. To describe these illegal groups in a sugar-coated manner shows the lack of honest and effective communication to save innocent people. The late Brother Joseph A. Walkes Jr., in his article “Bogus Black Groups or Black on Black Crime” stated, Unfortunately the leadership of both Prince Hall Freemasonry and its Caucasian counterparts have little or no knowledge of Masonic common law, and exactly what Freemasonry is all about, and they continue to make dumb and dumber statements on the subject of bogus frauds operating within the Black community, such as calling them “non-Prince Hall Masons”. Some of our leadership do not understand the importance of educating ourselves of these groups who are bogus. The word “BOGUS” is NOT a figure of speech but part of our vocabulary and common language.

    10 STUPID justifications plus a BONUS given by Bogus Masons as to why they should be recognized

    Misguided bogus Masons say:

    1) We read the same rituals
    2) We take the same degree
    3) We practice the same Masonry
    4) We have the same regalia
    5) We give the same grips, signs and words
    6) We confer the same degrees
    7) We take the same obligations
    8) We Black Masons should stick together.
    9) We believe in God
    10) We belong to the same church
    BONUS) He’s my Frat Brother (Greek)

    (The word “bogus” is universal. Below is the word “Bogus” in different languages.)
    (Nederlands (Dutch) nep-, vals), ( Français (French) faux, bidon, factice), (Deutsch (German) adj. - falsch, gefälscht), (Ελληνική (Greek) adj. πλαστός, κάλπικος, ψεύτικος, πλασματικός), (Italiano (Italian) falso), (Português (Portuguese) adj. – adulterado), (Русский (Russian) фальшивый, притворный), (Español (Spanish) adj. - falso, postizo), (Svenska (Swedish) adj. - fingerad, falsk, bluff), (中国话 (Simplified Chinese) adj. - 假的, 伪造的),(中國話 (Traditional Chinese) adj. - 假的, 偽造的), (日本語 (Japanese) adj. - 偽の), (العربيه (Arabic) ‏(صفه) كاذب, زائف, مصطنع‏), (עברית (Hebrew)
    adj. - מלאכותי, מזוייף)

    Merriam Dictionary
    Wikipedia Encyclopedia
    Macoy’s Encyclopedia
    Coil’s Encyclopedia
    Black on Black Crime (Joseph A. Walkes Jr.)
    African American Vernacular English
    Africanism in America
    Slavery In America
    Thomson Masonic Fraud (Isaac Blair Evens)
    A Prince Hall Quiz Book) Joseph A. Walkes Jr.)
    Freemasons Guide & Compendium (Bernard E. Jones)

    Source: Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS
    For further light see the Phylaxis Society commission on bogus masonry:
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  2. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

    Thank you, that is incredibly informative!
  3. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

    Very informative read.
  4. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    Well presented, and I suspect, researched BroBruceBejamin. Informative. thanks.
  5. koricua74

    koricua74 Premium Member

    Thanks. I was just reading that article and several others wanting to learn more about the PHO vs. PHA. When I get back on my computer I'll post up a link to a good article as well. Thanks again for sharing Bro. Bruce.

    Update: Here you go http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/popefr.html
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  6. RockBender

    RockBender Registered User

    Bruce you the man!

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