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Uncover by danton(m): 12:04pm On Nov 24, 2015
Are the Freemasons even MORE powerful than anyone thought? Conspiracy theories have flourished for years. But a secret archive reveals how their members may have shaped Britain's history
PUBLISHED: 00:55, 24 November 2015 | UPDATED: 07:45, 24 November 2015

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For centuries, they have shrouded themselves in secrecy. So murky is their history, their origins are opaque even to themselves.
Their rituals are conducted in private, with members swearing a melodramatic oath that threatens them with ‘having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the rough sands of the sea at low-water mark’ should it be violated.
But what’s inspired endless rumour and speculation is how the influence of this shadowy organisation reaches to the very heart of the Establishment — to senior politicians, high-ranking military men, diplomats and spies, chief constables and scientists.
Square and compasses: The very mention of the Freemasonry - one of the world’s oldest and biggest non-religious organisations - is guaranteed to prompt a rash of contradictory reactions
Square and compasses: The very mention of the Freemasonry - one of the world’s oldest and biggest non-religious organisations - is guaranteed to prompt a rash of contradictory reactions
They are, of course, the Freemasons. And according to a secret membership archive open to the public for the first time, the number of leading figures in British history is likely to be even greater than conspiracy theorists would have you believe.

Freemasons fixed inquiry into Titanic to protect...

Jack the Ripper was an 'obscure singer who was protected by...
The newly released list of two million names includes at least five kings (most recently Edward VII, Edward VIII and George VI), the present Duke of Kent, statesmen Winston Churchill and Lord Kitchener, military genius the Duke of Wellington, authors Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle, England manager Sir Alf Ramsey, the explorer Ernest Shackleton, the scientist who discovered penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming — and flamboyant playwright Oscar Wilde.
According to estimates, there are 250,000 Masons in Britain and six million Masons worldwide. They may be relatively few in number, but they wield considerable influence across all sections of society.
Not long after the Titanic sank on April 14, 1912, there were calls on both sides of the Atlantic for an inquiry not only into why the liner went down on its maiden voyage, but why there was such an extraordinary loss of life.
Iceberg: The inquiry in Britain into the sinking of the Titanic appeared lenient to the point of farce
Iceberg: The inquiry in Britain into the sinking of the Titanic appeared lenient to the point of farce
In the U.S., the Senate blamed not only the vessel’s owner, the White Star Line, but also the British Board of Trade for allowing her to sail with far too few lifeboats.
In Britain, however, the official inquiry appeared lenient to the point of farce — possibly owing to the high-level involvement of a number of leading Masons who may have had a vested interest in covering up for their fellow members.
The investigation was headed by a Free-mason — Lord Mersey — initiated into a lodge in London in 1881. The President of the Board of Trade, Sydney Buxton, was a Mason, who was also a member of a London lodge.
It is claimed that Lord Pirrie, the chairman of the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic and a director of White Star’s parent company, was a Mason.
And, furthermore, two of the inquiry’s experts were Freemasons. Professor John Biles, a specialist in naval architecture, had joined the Clausentum Lodge in Woolston in Hampshire in 1890, and Edward Chaston, a senior marine engineer, had been initiated into the St Nicholas Lodge in Newcastle the same year.
Today, we cannot be sure that all these men deliberately worked together to undermine the investigation, but the strong suspicion is that it was in their common interest for the inquiry to be a whitewash — as many believe it proved to be.
It concluded that the Board of Trade’s oversight and regulation, the White Star Line and the captain were not to blame. It was the fault of excessive speed and the iceberg.
The very mention of the Freemasonry — one of the world’s oldest and biggest non-religious organisations — is guaranteed to prompt a rash of contradictory reactions. Defenders rightly point to its tradition of charity fund-raising and official websites promote it as an ‘enjoyable hobby’.
Indeed, the website of the United Grand Lodge of England recommends it for ‘making new friends and acquaintances’.
But do such close friendships lead to too much power being vested in individuals who favour fellow Masons in everything from promotions to business deals? Membership lists are notoriously hard to get hold of, making it difficult to detect corruption.
Others believe the Freemasons, with their arcane ceremonies, secret handshakes, lambskin aprons, embroidered sashes and gold rings, and their ornate symbols — the square, the compass — are more the stuff of pantomime.
There aren’t many ‘private societies’, after all, whose members swear an oath blindfolded, bare-chested, with nooses around their necks and a dagger to the heart — and with the left trouser leg rolled up.
Yesterday, however, proved to be a field day for those who claim the Freemasons are a force not for good, but for bad.
Working from the complete English Masonic membership records dating from 1751 to 1921, genealogical website Ancestry has established that at least five people associated with the official inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic were Freemasons. It argues this may have influenced the findings, which exonerated most of the key figures involved.
It was also claimed yesterday that one of the most notorious murderers in British history may also have been a Mason.
According to a new book by Bruce Robinson, the writer of the cult film Withnail & I, none other than Jack the Ripper was a Freemason. It begs the question whether his identity was covered up, allowing him to carry on with his murderous campaign in which five women died.
The websites of modern-day Masonic lodges, some of which pay at least lip-service to being less secretive, talk virtuously of how it is frowned upon for a member to use his Masonic status for a career leg-up.
But down the centuries, their clandestine activities have — however unfairly — convinced many that as a fraternity they were collectively up to no good.
There have been glimpses of serious wrongdoing. The late Yorkshire architect and Freemason John Poulson was jailed for seven years after being found guilty in 1974 of bribing public figures to win contracts.
The judge called Poulson an ‘incalculably evil man’ and his conviction precipitated the 1972 resignation of Conservative Home Secretary Reginald Maudling, who had been a director of Poulson’s firm.
Freemasons’ origins in Britain seem to date back at least to the late 14th century. The Freemasons believe their roots — and their very name, and hence their symbols — lie in the masons who built the great medieval cathedrals, such as Salisbury, started in 1220.
Certainly, by the end of the 17th century, there were several lodges — as the individual Masonic societies are known — dotted around the British Isles, with at least seven in London.
It was in the capital that four lodges came together in June 1717 to form the first ‘Grand Lodge’, which published its first minutes and constitution in 1723.
Freemason: 'Infamous villain' Kenneth Noye
Freemason: 'Infamous villain' Kenneth Noye
Kenneth Noye, who is serving a life sentence for the ‘road rage’ murder of Stephen Cameron in 1996, was once dubbed Britain’s ‘most infamous villain’.
He also happens to have been a Freemason.
A criminal from a young age, Noye (pictured) ran a protection racket at school, stole money from his local Woolworths and did a stretch in borstal for selling stolen bicycles.
His apprenticeship in villainy over, he spent his 20s immersed in the criminal underworld and was eventually arrested in 1977, aged 30, for handling stolen goods.
Noye managed to avoid being charged, partly because he was a police informer, but also perhaps because he had decided to join a Hammersmith-based lodge of the Freemasons that same year.
It later emerged that he was even put up for membership by two police officers, and rose to become Master of the Lodge.
Over the next few years, Noye built up a criminal empire with activities all over the globe.
He smuggled gold and drugs and was involved in the infamous Brink’s-MAT robbery of 1983.
His Masonic status could not spare him from a 14-year jail sentence for that crime. He was finally kicked out of the Free-masons — but not until three years after his conviction.
Within a few decades, the Masons started to attract to their number some of the most influential men in London society, including members of the Royal Society, artists and writers such as William Hogarth and Alexander Pope, and members of the aristocracy, right up to dukes.
In 1776, the Freemasons opened a sumptuous hall as their Grand Lodge in Great Queen Street, Central London. This was replaced in the Thirties by the monolithic Freemasons’ Hall.
Their web of influence spread throughout the country and society. Some lodges met at taverns and inns — and today, many taxi drivers, plumbers and even dustmen are Masons. There are two lodges for women Masons.
While the Freemasons insist their private meetings do not mask anything nefarious, that was not universally so. In the late 18th century, for example, a lodge in Brentford was accused of plotting to kill George III. The conspiracy did nothing to deter his two sons, George IV and William IV, from becoming Masons.
Freemasonry really took off in the wake of the two world wars. In the three years after World War I, 350 lodges were established, and in three years after World War II, nearly 600 were set up.
The Freemasons claim this was due to an increased number of men ‘who wanted to continue the camaraderie they had built up during their war service, and were looking for a calm centre in a greatly changed and changing world’.
That may well be so, but it does not answer the question that many have asked about their activities for nearly three centuries: who benefits from whatever it is they do? The Masons themselves or is it society at large?
The Freemasons do not deny that much of their generosity is allocated to themselves and their dependants, often in the forms of healthcare and education. But there is nothing wrong in creating a society for mutual benefit.
And good causes benefit. Each year they give £1 million to the Royal College of Surgeons ‘for the betterment of mankind’. Most members are surely honest, decent and altruistic.
But it is hardly surprising, given the closed way members go about their business, that cynics maintain some Masons’ primary ambition is to give each other favours and backhanders, turn blind eyes, wave through promotions, sign contracts and bestow all manner of benefits not available to others.
So, are the cynics right? Read the stories on this page and judge for yourself.
Killings: The murders carried out by Jack the Ripper in 1888 have been blamed on scores of individuals
Killings: The murders carried out by Jack the Ripper in 1888 have been blamed on scores of individuals
As any ‘Ripperologist’ will tell you, the murders carried out by Jack the Ripper in the East End of London in 1888 have been blamed on scores of individuals — from the author Lewis Carroll to the artist Walter Sickert, and even the Duke of Clarence, eldest son of Edward VII.
However, a new book by the scriptwriter Bruce Robinson — They All Love Jack: Busting The Ripper — claims the killer could have been the singer Michael Maybrick, who, despite his lowly occupation, was on the Supreme Grand Council of Freemasons and protected by a police force riddled with Freemasonry.
Robinson argues that strange graffiti found at one murder scene consisted of Masonic symbols. More grisly still, he claims the wounds carved into the face of victim Catherine Eddowes were a pair of compasses — symbols associated with Freemasonry.
‘The whole of the ruling class was Masonic, from the heir to the throne down,’ says Robinson. ‘Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood — and that’s what happened.’
Thanks to the recent release of the Freemasons’ archives, we can see that many figures associated with the investigations were members of the secret society.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren, for example, and his colleague Chief Inspector Donald Swanson were Masons, as were two coroners who ruled on the murders.
Furthermore, three of the police doctors who examined the victims were Freemasons.
‘They weren’t protecting the Ripper, they were protecting the system he was threatening,’ says Robinson. ‘And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3331288/Are-Freemasons-powerful-thought-Conspiracy-theories-flourished-years-secret-archive-reveals-members-shaped-Britain-s-history.html#ixzz3sPDXUDMR
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