Friday, April 15, 2022

#AtoZChallenge2022: M is for Masons

The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories M
The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories: M is for Masons

This was almost the F post with "Freemasons" but "Flat Earth" won out. But I have a second chance now.

The Masons, or Freemasons, are not so much at the root of many conspiracy theories these days.  I can recall a time when they were still considered to be a super-secretive society with clandestine methods and nefarious plans.

These days not so much.

Mind you I don't think the Masons really changed all that much save for being more open with their membership and practices.  

Sure they are still basically a club. And they give their own members preferences where they can within the bounds (as far as I can tell) of the law and good taste.  Which is nothing more than I would expect.  You can pretty much look up everything about them on the Internet.

After seeing the Shriners in many parades it is hard to see them as a world-dominating threat. They went from a secret organization full of hidden motives to something akin to the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes in my lifetime.

But Masons of the old days are a different story (maybe).

Because so many of the leaders of the world, especially the English speaking world of the 18th to 20th Centuries. Several Presidents, Ambassadors, and even the Royals were Masons.  We do know that Washington D.C. (supposedly) was laid out in terms of Masonic designs and the All-Seeing Eye appearing on the back of the $1 bill.  

The Masons were often the whispered source of many conspiracy theories.  One of the persistent ones is that the Knights Templar would change into the Freemasons when they got to Scotland.  Or that there was some intermediate stage where the Templars became the Rosicrucians who became the Masons.  It's fun, but not a shred of evidence to support it really.  Others state they are connected to or in fact they are the Illuminati.   

There is also the claim that the Mason's "Great Architect of the Universe", which they claim is the same as God, is actually something else.  This could be Baphomet of the Templar fame or something else like Baal. 

One Dollar Bill or something else?


In the world of NIGHT SHIFT, the Masons are NOT the center of any conspiracies.  But they DO know about all of them. There is usually a price for this knowledge if the characters are not Masons or some related order.  Usually, this price is to obtain some item the Masons want.  So to get the information you need to be prepared for some "National Treasure" style shenanigans. 

Which of course could be its own kind of fun. 

The NIGHT SHIFT RPG is available from the Elf Lair Games website (hardcover) and from DriveThruRPG (PDF).


PT Dilloway said...

I think a few years ago I saw billboards advertising for people to join the Masons. They must have been getting hard up for members then.

Pun Isaac said...

I really need to watch Homer the Great (the Stonecutters' episode of The Simpsons) now.

Lisa said...

I'm not sure about the conspiracies related to them, but my late father-in-law was one, and they were certainly an odd bunch. His funeral was very strange, to us anyway. The members wore aprons, and at the end of a prayer they all shouted out something. Boy, did that startle my son, who was just a little boy at the time!
I think my father-in-law liked pretending they were up to secret things. In actuality, where this was, a retirement area, I think they just met and drank.

John Holton said...

I get the sense that a lot of guys join the Masons so they can join the Shriners, at least nowadays. The Catholic Church and the Freemasons are still not speaking to each other...

Arlee Bird said...

My father was in the Masons in the seventies into the early eighties but then quietly separated himself from the group. It was getting too weird for him he said. At my father's funeral in 1990 some of the members of the local Masonic Temple came wearing the aprons and other props and I think they left something over him in a sort of ceremony. I don't remember much about what happened--I was too baffled by the oddness of it all. I had to suppress a laugh is all I can remember now.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jayashree Srivatsan said...

I have not heard of the Masons in this side of the globe. From the comments above , seems like they had quite a lot of specifications around funerals

Damyanti Biswas said...

We do know that Washington D.C. (supposedly) was laid out in terms of Masonic designs and the All-Seeing Eye appearing on the back of the $1 bill.

Wow! I didn't know that.

Charlie Warren said...

I grew up in a very small town. In my teen years - the 1980s - we would check out the local pawn shop for "cool stuff" to buy. Some of the items we bought there included an Atari 2600 console with several games, several classic fantasy series, and the core AD&D 2E books to name a few. One of the things we were most curious about buying was a Freemasonry book - Duncan's Rituals, I think - and finding out what secrets it held. All it basically did was detail some of their ceremonies. We found no world shattering secrets inside. Bummer.