Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grand Master of Russia Running For President

If you believe things haven't changed in Russia, think again. Oh, sure, ex-KGB strongman Vladimir Putin will still be running things, even after his constitutional term limit as president ends this year. But the Proletariat still has to march to the polls and pull the lever for a new puppet head of state. Putin's handpicked fave is Dmitry Medvedev. Also in the race are perennial candidates - think Ralph Nader and Pat Paulsen for the borsht and vodka crowd: nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who once pledged "a man for every woman and a bottle of vodka for every man"; and Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Communist Party, who's always flacking for free tractors for farmers on the mooch. But the fourth name on the ballot is different this time.

Meet Andrey Bogdano. At 38, he is third out of the field of presidential candidates in Russia right now (sort of where Hillary Clinton sits in the polls, but Bogdano has a better hair stylist). He is the head of the Russian Democratic Party, a fierce advocate of Russia's integration into Europe, and in a society where it is clearly understood that Dmitry Medvedev is to be the next president, no matter what the polls may say, Bogdano still managed to assemble 2 million signatures to register on the ballot.

He is also the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia.

According to the Washington Post:
Bogdanov says he hopes one day to unite Russia's democrats under the banner of his party, which he emphasizes is not liberal but conservative, along the lines of the U.S. Republican Party.

Bogdanov heads Russia's largest Masonic lodge but doesn't like to talk about it. Pressed during the debate, he described it as a "super-patriotic organization."


MWBro. Bogdanov is a democrat is a country where democracy has no real credibility. And more than a few Russians think Freemasonry is a Western plot, designed to weaken Russia from within. Like it needs help. Other critics say that Bogdanov was simply allowed on the ballot to make Medvedev's coronation look like a fair fight. Some wags claim he was put on the ballot so the Kremlin could then single him out as an easy target for his often-derided long hair, and his supposed role in Masonic conspiracies - always whispered, of course, but never said outright.

Bogdanov was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia in June 2007. The grand lodge was chartered by the Grande Loge Nationale Fran├žaise in June 1995. Asked about his Freemasonry, Bogdanov said he keeps it away from politics.

"For me, it's more about being a member of a spiritual brotherhood than anything else," he said. While he has declined to discuss it further, he has said he would remain a Freemason if he's elected.

10 comments:

Radcliffe said...

Great post and links, thanks. May God bless the man

Nathan Brindle said...

My God, that's great hair. He looks like Richard, Chris!

Chris Hodapp said...

Sorta what I thought. Or a Gene Simmons love child.

Tim said...

What a great time we would have at Table Lodge with this guy!

2 BOWL CAIN said...

It is good to see an active mason trying to improve others lives.

I guess being president would enable one to incorporate change.

Full on Brother.

Nemo me impune lacessit

Chris Hodapp said...

It is part of the typically perverse Russian political world that he had to get 2,000,000 signatures to get on the ballot, yet only received 965,471 votes in the general election.

julito bernales said...

MWBro. you are on the right track:
Keep that space between politics and our ancient Fraternity.

jzbernales

zapper said...

Pursue your dream MW Sir and make Russia a better place for masonry.

tkdeck said...

right on mw sir! more power and may the great architect of the universe guide you on your travel always!

bilinkis said...

One should look closer to see who this guy really is and how and why he was running for president and what happened to freemasonry in Russia when he became WM.
For those interested here is the link to relatively old article about this guy and his political party. And btw his affiliation with the Craft was not a secret - on the contrary it was used in his campaigns (he was running for president and shortly before that his party participated in parliament elections and lost them. they didn't get a single seat in russian Duma)

http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8606&IBLOCK_ID=35&phrase_id=23555