"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Making State Sponsored Anti-Masonry "Cute"

More and more restrictive government regimes around the world are deciding that unfiltered social media platforms can be hotbeds of dissent when it comes to the usual adoring press coverage they favor. The latest country to try to steer authorized online behavior and approved messaging in their citizens is Iran. 

It seems that Iran's officials were alarmed by the popularity among their citizenry of a messaging app called Telegram. So, they created one of their own, called Soroush (Farsi for the Angel Gabirel). And the theocracy and their intelligence services are using modern technology to reinforce some old favorite themes when it comes to the user experience. As with Telegram and other social media apps, Soroush chatterers can join groups, create channels, follow news, and send files, videos, pictures and audio. 

Gizmodo Australia reported late last week that Soroush comes complete with its own custom set of special emojis (or 'stickers') designed especially to be sensitive to government-approved Iranian culture. One set in particular that is getting lots of worldwide attention features a veiled woman dressed in a black chador and holding up various bits of signage and messaging to suitably reflect common emotions. As one might expect, they include the usual smattering of all-purpose hearts and flowers, and a cluster of celebratory balloons.



But it wouldn't be state-sponsored agitprop without a few more special characters. According to the Gizmodo article and others, also included are  "Death To America," "Death To Israel," and "Death to Influencers" smilies - or frownies, as the case may be - because you can't have enough emojis when you're inviting your buddies to the Two Minute Hate rally. 

There's also a blissfully smiling woman holding a framed photo of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and another, dressed in pink with the message "Let's Go Pray".

But one other image in the set is getting very little notice in comparison among the worldwide press:



It reads, "Death To Freemasons."

They left out a "Death To Emmanuel Goldstein" one. Perhaps in version 2.0...

5 comments:

  1. Some background on the Iranian situation is at https://scottishrite.org/about/media-publications/journal/article/persians-in-paris-new-lodges-in-washington/

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  2. Perhaps such an entry is as good as any to post this, so here goes: As someone who is not a Mason, the conflict with Freemasonry is not just observed from Freemasons. In the religious group to which I belong, there is also opposition, though definitely not in the radical Muslim "death to..." speech. Instead, there are certain arguments that I just can't deal with. The main one centers around what we now know the various state Monitors to say from the GLs, to wit, that if one is a faithful MASON then he will go to heaven. I have seen quote after quote affirming or implying such and the reasoning escapes me. If Masons want to avoid the ire of religious groups, why make religious claims about membership? I was an assistant Boy Scout Master for about 15 years (son is Eagle). If you had said that a boy/man could be a faithful Scout, take it all the way to eagle, and never renounce it - but still die and bust hell wide open no one would have a problem with that. Religious statements of soteriology had nothing to do with being in the organization. In other words, the organization was not religious per se and therefore made no claim as to destiny of your soul. I am trying to understand why various GLs make statements about your soul's condition before God but then want immunity from the wrath of religious groups that don't believe the steps of Masonry have anything to do with your salvation, but rather the grace of God. Can any of you help me out with this?

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  3. Tim McHenry I am a Freemason and I have seen such posts and do not agree with the sentiment expressed In general they emanate from the United States In the UK we do not treat Freemasonry as a religion hence would not refer to good Masons going to Heaven The object lessons of Freemasonry are to make good men better I am saddened that there are Masons who inadvertently cause rift with established religions

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    1. Thanks for the response. So I take it that this is just something in the USA midsouth from the GLs? I am from TN/KY area and I haven't seen the monitors of other States, but the ones from those states are rife with such quotes as I mentioned and many references and pseudo quotes from things Albert Pike said.

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