One of the earliest pieces on DR was a rebuttal to Zuqka’s speculative nonsensical article that claimed that several of our favorite artists were Masons; more specifically, that Jay-z was part of some secret society. Hogwash really.
But what isn’t hogwash is how Kenyans feel about such groups of people. We have been polarized to react acidicly negatively to Freemasons – or as many call them, Devil Worshippers & Satanists – because they supposedly drink blood drained from virgin children’s necks and pray in dark rooms with no windows while having orgies with abducted prostitutes. But how much of this stigma is really true? Here are 10 things you need to know about Freemasons before you pass judgment.
1. Freemasonry is NOT a religion
Possibly the most common misconception. There’s no Mason God or anything weird like that. It’s a Fraternal Organization – much like Academic Fraternities -that began some 400 years ago. You are however required to have a religion before joining so you’ll find plenty of Christian Masons, Muslim Masons, Hindu Masons…etc.
2. Freemasonry is NOT Satanism
In fact, Satanism is one of the few religions that isn’t exactly allowed in freemasonry. Freemasons are required to believe in a “Supreme Being” and to the best of my knowledge, Satan doesn’t quite qualify as being Supreme enough. Besides, most of their practices go against the code of the masons.
3. Freemasons are NOT idolatrous
They don’t worship the symbols or their Grand Master; they don’t sacrifice chickens to pagan gods or …whatever crazy thing they get flack for.
4. Freemasonry is NOT a cult
This should really have been #2. Dear Kenyans, stop calling everything occult. Occultism is, simply stated, some mystical search for deeper truth in life; magic, alchemy, witchcraft & wizardry and all this. It normally involves a lot of secrecy and very little reasoning(because you see, reasoning is counter-occult; “you can’t see the deeper truth with these eyes”…).
5. Freemasonry is NOT a secret society
They have a headquarters with an address and a list of members. They are in your Yellow Pages and online. Seriously. What kind of secret is that?
6. Freemasonry is NOT exclusive or inclusive.
Nobody forces you to be a freemason and no one will stop you. Anybody can walk in there and apply to join the fraternity. In fact, one of the requirements is that you came there of free will. If your references check out, you take the oath and you’re in. Just like any other fraternity.
7. Freemasons are NOT malevolent
There’s this theory that most masons are thugs and crooks of the highest order. One of the requirements of joining the “fraternity” is that you are a morally upright person. You even need character references from reputable people saying you are a stand-up guy before they let you join. I fail to see how most of our politicians would qualify.
8. Freemasons are NOT special;
They don’t control your world. They aren’t even international. Each region of Freemasons operates independently from the others. There are societies out there that are international and a lot more powerful and scary; Freemasons are not one of them.
9. Jay-z is NOT a Freemason
Neither is Beyonce, Obama or Rihanna or whoever else you were thinking. Now, there are some very famous masons ranging from Mozart to Bob Dole and you can find that list here.
10. Freemasons are the least of your worries
Seriously, in a hierarchy of groups of people Kenyans should be concerning themselves with, a society of architectural philosophers ranks pretty low. There are satanists and occultists out there; but even they are the least of your problems. People just want to focus on something “extraordinary” – a group of outcasts that we can unit and shun – and honestly that’s not only naive and prejudicial, it’s counter-productive.
But what about all the symbolism that looks like Satanic stuff?
Simply put, symbols are what you make them be. Who would’ve thought before the 2005 referendum and the 2007 electoral violence that Oranges, Bananas and Hammers would have such vast symbolic significance? In some places those are still 2 fruits and a tool. So to go and say that the all seeing eye represents the Devil’s optician or something of the sort is just ridiculously outlandish. I could say it represents the center button on the Xbox360 controller and means it puts me in control of my opponents, but I’d just be being ridiculous as well.
How do you know all this stuff? Are you a mason too?
Nope, I just did what most of you have been too scared to do.
I actually know quite a few Masons and Mariners in Nairobi and Kenya at large – one of whom is a priest, actually – and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that they rank among some of the better standing people I know.
The point being, don’t waste your time on stupid hype. The facts are out there. It’s a Google-Wiki generation; learn something. You have legs, eyes and a mouth; see for yourself, ask, listen. Don’t let knowledge – or the lack thereof – be your downfall.
Besides, worrying about what other people do with their free-time is really kinda lame.
PS: Jay-z actually has a song out there titled “Free Mason” with Rick Ross & John Legend. I had started writing this before the song released and then completely forgot about it until I heard the track.
*I didn’t just ask; I’ve actually done a reasonable amount of research on the matter in the past few years. Ironically, amounted to the same exact amount of knowledge I got from chatting with a freemason about 2 days ago.