The tired old accusation that the infamous Jack the Ripper was a Freemason is back. The latest author to try to make this idiotic claim is Bruce Robinson in his new book, They All Love Jack: Busting The Ripper.
Read the interview with him in GQ-UK Magazine. From "How one man revealed Jack the Ripper's identity" by Robert Chalmers:
Robinson's research into the Ripper's atrocities gathered pace once he examined the murder of Catherine Eddowes, the second of two murders (known as the "double event") on the night of 30 September 1888. "He killed and mutilated her, then wrote this message on the wall: 'The Juwes are / The men that / Will not / Be blamed for nothing.' Sir Charles Warren, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is informed of this message by telegraph. He leaps out of bed at 4am and gets into a hansom cab, not in order to preserve the writing on the wall but to wipe it out. And erase it he did, even though fellow officers were urging him to have this evidence photographed. Right there you have the fulcrum on which the so-called mystery of Jack the Ripper lies."
The word "Juwes", Robinson argues, is a reference to Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum, assassins central to Masonic legend. (Their full history and mythical significance is explained at some length in They All Love Jack.)
"Once I started researching Commissioner Warren, what emerged was that he was a very senior Freemason. He knew the message about 'Juwes' had to have been written by a Mason. Warren got his stupid arse out of bed that night to fulfil the spirit of the oath sworn by a senior Freemason, ie, 'I will protect any other Mason [from the consequences of their actions], murder and treason not excluded.'"
Robinson re-examined the forensic detail of other known Ripper murders. "Freemasonry has denied any connection with the Ripper for 130 years," he says. "But these women were all murdered according to Masonic ritual. Throats cut across, abdomens ripped open, guts slung over their shoulders, every piece of metal taken off them and placed nearby. The whole affair is glaringly Masonic. That much I realised within a week."
Of course, the notion that Jack the Ripper was a Freemason is hardly innovative. Dozens of Ripperologists have examined the murders in this context…
As to the so-called Masonic ritual references to the killings themselves and the manner in which the bodies were arranged, many of the details are just plain wrong, or a total fabrication. If you want to read about it in great detail, see WBro. Dennis Stocks' very detailed essay, Freemasonry and the Ripper.
I have no idea if the UGLE's ritual in 1888 said that a Mason would protect a Brother, "murder and treason not excluded." Perhaps someone else knows. But I do know that my own jurisdiction goes out of its way in the ritual to specifically say "murder and treason excluded," and has for some time. Certainly, Robinson has no way of knowing. Masons are required to obey the laws of their nation, and there is absolutely no evidence of Masons concealing their crimes from the authorities for each other, despite many attempts to accuse them of it down through history. There is literally one instance in modern history of Masons accused of murder and covering it up (see the entry for William Morgan on Wikipedia), and the evidence of that so-called crime is shaky at best-it has never been proved, and no body was ever found. That's literally it.
This Ripper stuff is typical British anti-Masonic claptrap, and dragging it up again makes me suspect the rest of Mr. Robinson's theories. The entire Masonic theory originated with Joseph Sickert who introduced Stephen Knight to the story, and fabricated a whole Ripper hoax that spawned several books, magazine articles and documentaries. In the June 18th, 1978 edition of London's Sunday Times he confessed that he made the whole story up, or in his own words, "it was a hoax…a whopping fib." Masons included.