It's funny...when the term 'Freemason' is thrown around (in my experience anyway), I hear things like 'New World Order' and 'Illuminati' roaring viciously out of people's speculative mouths. I've always been both fascinated and confused as to who they actually are, where they originate from and if their supposedly weird, medieval rituals ring true in ways Dan Brown has proclaimed in his book, 'The Lost Symbol'. I knew they were an ancient brotherhood: a fraternity including famous members, such as Benjamin Franklin and Sir Isaac Newton and that to join this private squadron, one had to believe in a higher power. But that's about it.
To confess, like a feather gliding seductively down my cheek, what really tickled my curiosity about the Masons and whatever it is they do, was the fact that one of my biggest musical influences, Tom DeLonge from the rock bands Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves, has the Masonic logo plastered on his amp and guitar: the logo being the letter 'G' encompassed by..well...a compass and emphasising God and/or geometry. It's always baffled me how someone who once co-wrote a one minute song about wanting to hump a dog, could perhaps be involved in such a mysterious cohort.
The internet is like my sisters bedroom...very messy and muddled. I've read positive things about Masons online such as their charity work, but far more confusing and peculiar things too. For example, I've read that they are an exclusive male dominated group, who control the running order of the world. They possess a secret handshake. They have an initiation process for newbies who are supposed to partake in crazy practises, such as drinking wine from a skull. Like, what? I don't know if that's a human skull, an animal skull or a fake skull swiped from the science lab of a primary school, but if that were true, I wonder about the reasoning. Why wine? What if you don't drink? Why not a knock back a can of Lilt or something?
Anyway, whilst it wouldn't surprise me that there is an elite force of rich, powerful wizards who seize the highest echelons of power and money and puppeteer us commoners with their whimsical wands - watch the classic Michael Douglas film Wall Street for a glimpse of the power relations I refer to - my recent, personal dealings with the Masons left me feeling...more confused.
A history of Freemasonry isn't exactly the most original article one could write, but I'm tackling this from a different angle. I'm sharing a short tale of how I, in my role as reporter for the London Live and Community Channel TV show, 'London360', went down to Hogwarts...no scratch that...I mean the Honourable Artillery Company, for a very fancy fundraiser slash dinner party slash Mason gala in Moorgate, to spend the evening doing everything from interviewing the Masons and fine dining, to rocking out the 'Flying Scotsman' dance routine in the company of some very posh, white people. It was odd being one of the very few ethnics there...I felt like the dark jelly bean that no one likes to eat from the packet. Thankfully however, the Mason folk were very nice and welcoming...even the lady whose gown I stepped on and left a mud stain via my dirty Vans (yep I rebelled and wore Vans with a suit) shrugged it off.
Observing them carefully, there were a ton of Oxbridge kids there (some of the top unis were involved with the gala if I'm not mistaken) and I found myself playing virtual clay pigeon shooting with them on a projector screen and taking lessons in how to fire what looked like a rifle on a display table, along with other hunting based firearms (all that GTA and I still can't differentiate between weapons). Everything was regal about this event and location. One woman's voice was so posh it took a 360 degree turn and made her sound German. The suits, the dresses, the richness...the room reeked of wealth. Being an outsider though, I didn't know what to think except, 'I'm here trying to do a piece on these people but I'm sucked in by their accommodative nature and the fancy architecture'.
The Masons, structurally, are a group with hierarchy's and internal jurisdictions. These are guys that, at their Lodges, bust out robes I wouldn't even wear when I come out of the shower. But then here they are, hosting functions like this. I mean, there was a guy called 'Disney' who they flew in from Havana to cut cigars for them, whilst they danced wildly to a Mariachi band playing Joan Jett's 'I Love Rock N Roll'.
One thing I kind of regret from the event is that I played cameraman and didn't take on interviewing duties. I felt I could have stood forth and been a little more interrogative, had I asked the questions. I wanted them to disprove many of the negative stereotypes that encircle them and that this whole night wasn't an illusion masking some dodgy world domination plan where various blueprints and intel were exchanged. I wanted to know whether the grand mason himself was simply keeping up appearances and if he was, or wasn't, in fact Lucifer's older cousin.
I don't know. Maybe I should've gone to the Masonic Lodge in London for more answers or casually pushed harder on the night. But I feel I'll find Tupacs killer before I find out any deep Masonic secrets.
Still confused dot com.
Over N' Out.