Organizations Connected With The Masons
Daniel H. King
One of the little-known facts about the Masonic way of life is its broad connections beyond the mere bounds of the lodge's main body. Most people would be surprised to know that more than a hundred fraternal organizations have a relationship with Masonry, but they do not form part of its basic structure. Such are appendant groups or auxiliaries which exist apart from the main body of Freemasonry. Being primarily social or fun organizations they have no official standing but do draw their membership from the higher degrees of the craft. While they are especially prevalent in the United States, English Masons are forbidden to affiliate with any of these fun or quasiMasonic societies on pain of suspension.
A few of the major ones are the following:
1. Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Most of us will know them more commonly as "the Shriners." This group is composed of Knights Templars or of 32nd degree Scottish Rite Masons. The Shrine has exactly the same aims and ideals as the Masons. It was founded in 1872 by two Americans, Walter M. Fleming, a physician, and William J. Florence, an actor. Shriners are noted for the hospitals they have established for Gripped and burned children in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. These hospitals provide free medical treatment.
2. Daughters of the Nile. Wives of Shrine members may belong to this organ of the group. Although the confinement of membership to men is vigorously asserted and jealously guarded, more and more women and girl's orders have attached themselves to the lodges simply by organizing and limiting their membership to female relatives of Master Masons, or in some cases of Knights Templar (York Rite) or Shriners. Many of these orders use and sometimes own interest in Masonic halls.
3. Order of the Eastern Star. Includes women relatives of Masons and Master Masons. It was founded in 1808.
4. Order of Job's Daughters. An organization for girls who have relatives who are Masons.
5. Order of the Rainbow for Girls. A character-building group for girls over 12. Members must be recommended by a member of the Masonic Order or the Eastern Star, but need not be related to a Mason. The organization has about 215,000 members in about 3,300 assemblies in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries.
6. Order of DeMolay. An international organization of young men between the ages of 12 and 21. Since its founding in 1919. De Molay has initiated more than 2'/z million members. The order has 2,200 local chapters in the U.S. and a few other lands. Each chapter must have at least 25 members and be sponsored by a group of Masons or a Masonic body. Membership is open to boys of any religious persuasion of good character who are recommended by two chapter members or a senior De Molay or a master Mason. Frank S. Land, its founder, gave the group the names of several historical figures and they chose that of Jacques De Molay (ca. 1243-1314) as their title. De Molay was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templars, a famous group of French Crusaders. The ritual for the De Molay Order includes secret ceremonies and is based on seven points: filial love, reverence for God, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanness, and patriotism.
Other groups of some importance in Masonry are: the Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm or the Grotto, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Order of the Builders for boys, the White Shrine, and the Order of the Amaranth.
Members of the church of the Lord may be tempted to participate in some of these organizations thinking that they are simply fun groups that have no real or actual relationship with the Masonic Lodge. Too, they may be drawn to some of them on account of the high ethical principles which they advocate or the works of benevolence which they do. And at this point we would hasten to say that the Shriners especially are to be commended for the many charitable activities in which they engage. This is not a blanket commendation, of course, but credit would be given when it is due. Nevertheless, one must go on to say that our Lord forecast that the Judgment would see and hear many who call to remembrance the many acts of charity, etc., which they did - but performed lawlessly. Jesus remonstrates with them thus: "I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mt. 7:23).
To the Christian who thinks that he or she can be involved in these groups without sin, we offer the following: Elsewhere in this issue it has been demonstrated beyond question that Masonry is a religion and every Lodge is a Temple of religion (as per Albert Pike's own words). Since it is a religion and a religious organization other than the one that Christ established, then we are left to conclude that it is a false religion. A Christian's life is to be a manifestation of that which will glorify God (Mt. 5:16) through both example and influence. In addition, a child of the Father in heaven is to have "no fellowship (sharing, or joint participation) with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them" (Eph. 5:17). How is it conceivable for a Christian to consider his or her influence that which it ought to be while involved in one of the auxiliaries of a false religion? The purpose of such groups is obviously to promote Masonry and to spread its influence to others by encouraging the involvement of young men and boys, women and girls, in various phases of Masonic life and by drawing others to participate through their benevolent acts and charitable enterprises. Can a Christian seriously think that he or she can promote a false religion and be pleasing to the Lord? No Christian, you must make a choice. You cannot have Masonry in any of its forms and still please the Savior that redeemed you. I plead with you: do not be so foolish as to think so.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 45, pp. 728-729