Sunday, January 20, 2008

Accident or Masonic Plot?

A Welsh truck driver was convicted yesterday of causing the deaths of two other drivers by his own reckless driving. But that didn't stop him from claiming he was framed by a Masonic plot.

Roy Morrissey was driving a tractor-trailer in December 2006, when he attempted to pass a car on a two-lane road. Apparently, Morrissey misjudged the speed of an oncoming car in the other lane, swerved back into his own lane, clipping the car he was passing. It spun out of control and collided with the oncoming car.

The oncoming car was driven by a cardiologist, Dr. Carl Brooks. After the crash, he managed to pull himself out of his wrecked car and rushed to try to help the driver and passenger of the other vehicle. The driver, Lee Makepeace, had been killed instantly, and his girlfriend, Emma-Louise Jobson, died within a few minutes (that's their photo above).

Here's where the "conspiracy" comes in. It seems that Dr. Brooks is a Freemason. Morrissey claimed that Brooks "frequents the same lodge as several high ranking-officers from Hampshire Constabulary." He alleged that Brooks caused the accident and was shielded from prosecution by his Freemason cop brethren.

The jury was unimpressed. I guess they were all Masons, too.



I had the opportunity to be interviewed by a reporter from Britain's The Guardian a few days ago. While we spoke, he made an interesting observation. He believs that, while both fearing and ridiculing Freemasonry was a regular pastime in the British press for the last 15 or 20 years, that seems to be coming to an end. Perhaps he's right. This article was among the few that mentioned the Masons that didn't bring up funny handshakes or rolled up trouser legs (or, for that matter, give Morrissey's idiotic allegation any credence).

Then again, when I said that to the reporter, he immediately laughed, "Oh, well, now that you mention it, I HAVE to say 'funny handshakes' and 'rolled-up trouser legs.'"

11 comments:

Peter Clatworthy said...

It is true that newspapers in England are being more careful, and so they should be.

The rolling up of the trouser leg, for instance, may seem funny or unimportant to the uninitiated, but as we all know this practice holds deep religious significance for Freemasons.

We should not tolerate news articles which denigrate our religious Masonic practices in order to sell a few newspapers.

In England, religious discrimination, of all forms, is against the law.

This anti-Masonic drip drip drip is not good for the public image of Freemasonry and we should take the trouble to tackle it, each and every time, by explaining that poking fun at us in this way is, in fact, a form of religious discrimination.

So, if you see it - email the Editor and complain. If he or she persists, report it to The Press Complaint Commission, or equivalent in your Country.

Silence implies assent Brethren.

Tom Accuosti said...

but as we all know this practice holds deep religious significance for Freemasons.

poking fun at us in this way is, in fact, a form of religious discrimination.

I think that in most of the US you'd see some hesitation to use this tactic, especially considering how we've spent years trying to convince people that we are not a "religious" organization.

Peter Clatworthy said...

OATH - a solemn declaration naming God as a witness - Oxford English Dictionary.

If what you say is true, that American Freemasonry is now devoid of all religious content, then perhaps you can explain to me the religious-free reason for baring the knee when swearing an oath?

If you cannot explain that to me, a Brother Mason, then how do you expect to explain that to a hostile press?

Tom Accuosti said...

In Connecticut - and to my knowledge, in most of US and Canada - members take an obligation, they do not "swear an oath." The differences are subtle, but apparently that's what you're considering here.

Getting back to the original point, we would be disingenuous in claiming religious intolerance for any reason - rolled up trouser leg or not - after we'd just spent the last generation explaining at every possible moment how we are not a religious organization, and that our teachings do not conflict with those of any other religion.

I think that it is an odd claim of your own that Freemasonry is devoid of religious content; if the fraternity is not a religion, then such a claim is irrelevant. Certainly our ceremonies contain references to the Old Testament - but is that really religious content?

Peter Clatworthy said...

There is some serious Masonic confusion here Brother.

I am definitely NOT claiming that Freemasonry is a religion. It is not.

What I am stating, not claiming, is that Freemasonry in your Grand Lodge, and Freemasonry in my Grand Lodge is deeply religiOUS.

If it is true, as you say, not religious in the US and Canada, then please explain why your initiates kneel on their bare knee and take a sacred and solemn oath or obligation calling upon God as their witness?

Am I missing something here? In whom do you put your trust in the US and Canada Brother?

We cannot move on with this debate if you are not prepared to explain that which appears a paradox.

Please assist me to make a daily advancement Brother - I am extremely concerned.

Chris Hodapp said...

Peter Clatworthy wrote: The rolling up of the trouser leg, for instance, may seem funny or unimportant to the uninitiated, but as we all know this practice holds deep religious significance for Freemasons.

Most of us would agree that when Masons attempt to make the fraternity a substitute for religion, they have misinterpreted its teachings.

Taking an oath doesn't make Freemasonry "a religion" any more than taking the Boy Scout oath makes a Scout troop a religion. Just because Freemasonry is religious - by requiring its members to have a private belief in a Supreme Being - does not by any means make it a religion.

Most mainstream Masons would agree that the Scandinavian version of Christian Freemasonry goes too far one way, and the Grand Orient of France's admitting of atheists too far the other.

The website of your Grand Lodge of All England states: To become a Mason is a life changing experience. Freemasonry becomes an integral part of your religion and your religion becomes an integral part of your Freemasonry. While I personally feel that your grand lodge's formation in 2005 was spurious, its statement on religion and freemasonry is certainly a valid one. But I don't believe that news articles with an anti-masonic, or a mocking tone rise to the level of "religious discrimination," and I would hate to see any grand lodge head down that path. The Scottish Rite of Los Angeles tried in a recent dispute over its leasing arrangements and inadequate parking to make the claim that it was a religion being discriminated against. I think most of us regard that as a dangerous precedent to set legally.

Chris Hodapp said...

You guys type faster than I do.

Tom did NOT say that Freemasonry wasn't religious, it's just not a religion. Most grand lodges would agree. Again, Peter, you tied the ridicule of Freemasonry to religious discrimination. I don't see that the two can be compared.

Peter Clatworthy said...

Oh I see. Please allow me to sum up. Please correct my errors if I get it wrong Brethren.

We agree that Freemasonry is religiOUS, but definitely NOT a ReligION.

Our laws in England forbid "religiOUS discrimination" and we have enjoyed a considerable amount of success when reminding the press that they cannot print items likely to cause ridicule or damage to the religiOUS beliefs of its members.

Your opinion is that in the U.S. or Canada, because an A&ASR Supreme Council claimed to be a Religion when it was only religiOUS, it created a precedent that is an insurmountable barrier to a successful prosecution against a newspaper under the terms of your religiOUS discrimination laws.

Thank you for your explanation of the situation on your side of the pond.

Our lodges in the U.S. will take a much more robust approach with the press on this issue.

Chris Hodapp said...

We haven't had to, because the press in the US hasn't been antagonistic to Freemasonry for 170 years. Nor have we had to deal with societal suspicion on a widespread basis. The public in the US is not anti-Masonic. Quite the opposite – the public has no opinion of us at all. We have had nothing like Jack Straw's witch hunts here, neither do we have the US equivalent of Martin Short, in terms of a high-profile anti-Mason who gets taken seriously enough to get regular airplay on respectable news programs. (To this day I don't understand why the BBC feels compelled to drag Short in off the street every time a story favorable to Masonry gets airplay, as the "balanced counterpoint." He has been completely discredited time after time, and his allegations have been proved either completely false or just plain barking mad.)

Tom Accuosti said...

We agree that Freemasonry is religiOUS, but definitely NOT a ReligION.

Speaking personally, I'm not even sure I'd agree to that without some more defining of terms. Perhaps you could explain the difference to me between being a religious organization, and a religion?

Peter Clatworthy said...

I am glad to hear that the press in the U.S. is generally on-side Chris. I haven't seen Martin Short on the Beeb for some time now. He has probably run out of rope.

Talking of running out of rope. Tom, we have done this one - don't be tight - buy yourself a decent dictionary and read your ritual!

If you don't accept that our Freemasonry is religious by now, then nobody is going to change your mind, least of all me.

Sleep well. Its 4 o'clock in the morning here and so I am going to say "good night" to all. Have a good week!