Back in 2009 when Michael Jackson died, suspicion immediately turned to his physician Dr. Conrad Murray, who is now on trial for manslaughter in the death of the pop star.
At the time, a photo was released of Murray dressed in a Masonic officer's collar, and his attorney released a statement in order to bolster his sinking character, saying Murray had joined "the Freemasonry" [sic] in 2006. Almost immediately, Freemasons in California and Murray's state of residence, Nevada, could find no record of his membership.
Back in 2010, Jackson's father Joe and his sister LaToya accused Dr. Murray of being a tool of a Masonic cabal that runs the music industry. Apparently, they have been taken in by the Masonic references by acts like Lady Gaga and Jay-Z who have been using symbolism of the fraternity in their album artwork, videos and stage shows, as "proof" of a larger Masonic conspiracy.
Dr. Conrad Murray was actually a member of the "United Most Worshipful Scottish Grand Lodge of Texas", an irregular, unrecognized bogus group in the Houston area, that has absolutely nothing to do with the Grand Lodge of Texas AF&AM, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas F&AM, or any other regular, recognized form of Freemasonry. Within three years of joining, Murray was made a grand lodge officer, with the bizarre rank of Grand Medical Director, which is the title that appears on his officer's collar in the photo. The United MW Scottish Rite Grand Lodge of Texas is on the list of bogus grand lodges identified by the Phylaxis Society. Their "cabal" extends to the city limits of Houston. But such details generally elude most non-Masons.
One wonders what goes on at their meetings that would require a grand medical officer.
As you can tell from the Phylaxis Society's list of bogus grand lodges, the African-American community has been especially pestered by charlatans who stick a square and compasses on their lapel, buy some aprons, download a ritual, and declare themselves to be a "grand lodge" without any authority whatsoever. The somewhat arcane internal struggles we have involving issues of recognition and regularity undoubtedly seem quaint, silly or puzzling to non-Masons.
Dr. Murray belongs to a self-declared grand lodge in Houston that has no recognition or authority whatsoever outside of its own lodge room. In Texas, only lodges chartered by the mainstream and predominantly white Grand Lodge of Texas AF&AM or the predominantly black Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas are recognized as regular by the overwhelming world of Freemasonry.
The problem is that "Freemason" and "Order of the Eastern Star" are not copyrighted terms, and so bogus groups are not prohibited by law from co-opting them.
The black community has been especially plagued by these irregular Masonic groups. In some states like California, Ohio and Illinois, there are dozens and even hundreds of such fraudulent organizations that sound completely legitimate, or at least suitably ostentatious. Some were formed because of internal squabbles and schisms. Others exist solely to separate the gullible from their cash. And still others (Prince Hall Origination) date back more than 150 years to a brief experiment with a national governing organization that was quickly discarded by most Prince Hall lodges.
In any case, Dr. Murray's allegedly questionable medical activities were not motivated, controlled, or otherwise ordered by a Masonic Plot.™
I highly recommend the website of the Phylaxis Society’s Commission on Bogus Masonic Practices. It is an eye-opening introduction to a little known area of American Masonic history.
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