Even with Brexit and the political fate of Prime Minister Teresa May dominating the news cycle in England this weekend, you can always count on the English press to keep the flickering flame of Freemason bashing alive. For absolutely no apparent reason, the Sunday Express yesterday felt compelled to post a tarted up story attempting to again link - wait for it - Freemasons and purported chicanery over the RMS Titanic sinking. The headline itself is designed to create a story where none exists.
See 'Titanic COVER-UP? Documents reveal ship sinking inquiry ‘BUTCHERED by secret society' by Callum Hoare.
I guess trolls have to make a living, too.
The subheading under the headline makes this statement:
"AN INQUIRY into how Titanic sunk was heavily influenced by the Freemason, according to conspiracy theorist studying secret archives."
Following the sinking of the Titanic on April 15th, 1912, England's High Court judge Lord Mersey headed up an investigation on behalf of the British Board of Trade in order to identify the causes for the tragedy. In the process, more than a hundred witnesses testified, including White Star Line employees, government officials, and survivors. Given the popularity of Freemasonry at the time and the wide cross section of society who were interviewed, there's no surprise that there were Masons scattered throughout the group.
Notably for conspiracy lovers everywhere, Lord Mersey (John Charles Bigham, 1st Viscount Mersey) was a Mason, as were a handful of men who were exonerated in the inquiry. Naturally, the story attempts to make some sort of connection that isn't there and give the hoary impression that evil Brother Masons let each other off the hook - the most common thread in British anti-Masonric conspiracy theories.
In 2015, the United Grand Lodge of England released an enormous historical public listing of their former members since their beginnings three centuries ago to Ancestry.com. And in typical English fashion, the press and the conspiracists came out of the woodwork hunting up former Masons and attempting to link them with various purportedly nefarious historical events. This Titanic non-story actually goes back to the very first week in 2015 that the list was made available.
I've now reread the article four times, and try as I might, I'll be damned if I can find the actual name of this alleged 'conspiracy theorist' who is 'studying secret archives' that are hardly secret to anyone (see HERE). So an article makes an allegation by association (secret society members are BUTCHERS!), based on casual inference by a totally unknown and unnamed source whose name seems to have been omitted out of either sloppiness or deliberate obfuscation - if it's anyone besides reporter Callum Hoare himself just rehashing an old 2015 article.
And it made it into print.
So we're back to "Iceberg, Goldberg, all the same. Masons the lot of 'em." Although as my friend Jeff Naylor rightly reminded me, the author managed to miss the usual guaranteed trope of English reportage: "Masonic icebergs with dodgy handshakes and rolled up trouser legs, I say."
Of course, here's a smattering of other gems "reported" by Callum Hoare, who seems to specialize in nonsense reportage for Express under the banner of "weird.". They seem to want to capture the old Weekly World News audience, while still masquerading as a legitimate newspaper:
When fakery is the coin of the realm of the Fifth Estate these days, is there any wonder why they have become less trusted by the public than even the most dishonest of political hacks?