former 30° Mason and retired Anglican lawyer


"I still have many friends in Masonry that I look upon with affection and respect. Many of them are decent and well-intentioned people who I believe went into Masonry for the same reason I did, in that they understood it was a Christian-based organisation, in that it gave a humanitarian lifestyle, good fellowship and promoted a moral standard of life. Masonry is like quite a lot of other things, in that it has sufficient moral teaching in it, and even verses taken from the Bible, to give a false sense of security as to what it is.

My disagreement is not with all those individual people who are in the Craft, but with the hidden agenda that lies in Masonry with indoctrination, with false interpretations and a deliberate deceit, particularly the majority of Masons who are in the Blue Lodge. I was one who went right through to the thirtieth degree. I have come to a realisation that it is only when you reach the upper degrees of Masonry that the true significance of Masonic teachings are made apparent in any way. It was following my commitment to Christ with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that I knew I had committed a very great wrong, and that it had to be put right. I admit frankly that there were selfish reasons for my going into Masonry.

During the war years when I was overseas I was curious about the fact that some of the men in the unit every now and then went off into a little hush-hush gathering somewhere, and to any enquiries I made they said "We've got a lodge meeting." I didn't know anything more about it than that. I came back from the war and went into my family law practice, married shortly afterwards to my very precious wife and within just over six years we had six children. That sounds pretty hot going, but we had two sets of twins on end, so there wasn't time for much else, and I forgot my curiosity about Masonry for most of that time. I had a business associate who was also a relative of mine by marriage, and who had been a senior officer in the unit I served with. He kept speaking to me about the advantages to be gained from joining Masonry. He knew we were active members of a church, and claimed Masonry was a Christian-based organisation. I expressed some interest in it, and was eventually invited to join the lodge.

I am blessed with a fairly retentive memory and my progress up the ladder in Masonry was rapid for that reason. I soon went through the first three degrees and then the various offices in the lodge. I finished up as "Worshipful Master," and then at a later stage (I suppose in recognition of my known Christian commitment) I was invited to join the Rose Croix degree, the 18th degree. Much later on I was invited into the 30th degree. Even through that period of time there were a number of things which continued to cause some unease within me in some way or other, and I didn't know quite how to deal with them, but I want to share some of those with you. They steadily grew until finally I knew I had to leave the lodge completely, after about 30 years in it.

The first of these items which caused me concern was the issue of secrecy, because I wondered, if the teachings of Masonry were so true and good, why was it necessary to keep them hidden in a veil of secrecy. I couldn't even share those concerns with my wife, close friends or my spiritual leaders, and had to have that blanket of silence over the things that were revealed to me in Masonry. I talked with my wife afterwards about her feelings and she disclosed to me that when I went in she first of all felt bewilderment, then resentment, and finally reluctant acceptance. I am just so grateful that our marriage wasn't endangered, but she was helped over those years by a good group of lodge wives, many of whom had the same feelings, and they were able to share together.

The next thing which worried me was the question of Masonic oaths. I now recognise them as blood oaths, but even without that recognition if you just look at them word by word, they are horrendous. They agree to a vile mutilation of the body in different ways as a penalty for revealing the secrets, before those secrets are even disclosed to the Initiate. This applies to every step in Masonry. You have to agree to accept the teachings before knowing what they are.

The next point I had problems with right through was the question of deception and double meanings and euphemisms used in the rituals, particularly in the first three degrees. The definition of Masonry itself given to members gives some sort of clue of this, that it is "a peculiar system of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." That certainly gives some hint of what is involved. I was told it was a Christian-based organisation, and I knew quite a number of churchmen who were in the Craft, and I thought if it was okay for them then it must be okay for me. But I have realised, after thinking it over carefully, that God is never called God, but the "Great Architect of the Universe," and finally the passwords and signs which were exchanged in a secret way, but never had the meanings been given. These were a few of the matters which gave me unease at that stage. Even in the 18th Rose Croix degree, which is supposed to be the Christian form of Masonry, I came to see there were some parts of the ritual which had a secret hidden connotation with elements of the occult there.

The final problem I had was the matter of obedience to the Master and the governing authorities of the craft. The Master takes a significant part in the Craft Degree rituals. He leads the Initiate from "darkness to light" with a sharp instrument pressed against his breast. He leads the Fellow Craft from "death to resurrection" and one can't but wonder if this is a symbolic usurping of the place of Christ in our Christian teachings, putting Masonic teachings at total variance with the Word of God.

There are quite a lot of other things which I came to question, but perhaps I will summarise at this point. I came out of Masonry about ten years ago, because in the meantime we had together increased our Christian commitment considerably. The first real questioning of Masonry came through a very close friend of ours who was a retired clergyman, and who was Spirit-filled (filled with God's Holy Spirit). He had family members who were involved in Masonry and felt a very deep concern about it. Through him we were both baptised in the Holy Spirit and from then on my move away from Masonry increased rapidly. You couldn't worship and live in the Holy Spirit and remain with those areas of concern. When I finally left I felt a tremendous release and freedom, and the joy that we have shared together in these retirement years and the blessings in healing and restoration of relationships and provision from our loving and caring God are more than adequate answers to the decision I made.

 TESTIMONY OF "HAVELL" former Master Mason

"For eight years I was a Freemason, initiated, passed, and raised, if you know the jargon. It simply means I was in the Blue Lodge, and I became in due course a Master Mason. I was introduced into Freemasonry by two members of a church vestry of which I was also a member. I liked and respected both men - they were friends, and I had no reason to doubt their honesty. They would say, in accord with Freemasonry teachings, that I was not invited to join, but rather that I expressed an interest. That is one of the things which is part of Freemasonry folklore; that no one is invited to join, that a candidate expresses an interest and it is that interest that is subsequently taken up. So two respected friends said this was something I should look at, I expressed an interest and some two years later I was initiated into a lodge.

However, nine years ago I decided to resign from my lodge. Then I removed all lodge-related clothing and books from my home, and finally I renounced entirely all connections with Freemasonry and sought the LORD's forgiveness. Why did I choose to do that? Well, let me start with some of the good things, the attractive things about Freemasonry, and perhaps you will come on a journey with me as I work through the list to some of the things I am uncomfortable with about Freemasonry.

Freemasons are known for, but generally don't seek publicity for, good works. For example, the building of homes for the elderly, and support for widows and children. Many Freemasons give a great deal of time and considerable sums of money to that sort of thing. Lodge ritual promotes high standards of moral conduct, for example, honesty, uprightness, support for widows and children. They acknowledge a supreme being, any supreme being. For the Christian or Jew it is Yahweh, but for Moslems it is Allah, for others, their gods.

It is quite spurious to hold that all are the same, the one true God. Neither the Christian nor the Jew may have any God other than the Lord God the creator. That is the first commandment, and to the Christian, God has uniquely revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. To acknowledge any other god is not only to reject the First Commandment, but also to deny Christ. Christ said, "If you deny me I also shall deny you before My Father in heaven." So I believe that Freemasons, on this alone, are in grave spiritual danger. Perhaps one could express it more strongly than this.

Next, Paul instructed Christians not to be yoked together with unbelievers. In my view candidates undertaking the first three degrees of Freemasonry yoke themselves with members of other lodges who may openly acknowledge supreme beings other than God. Much lodge ritual calls on Freemasons to do good works, so that they may ascend to heaven. In contrast Christ said that no man comes to the Father except through Him. He is the way. Paul makes clear that we cannot justify ourselves through good works. Only our faith in Christ is cause for hope, that we will share eternal life with Him. To argue otherwise is again to deny Christ.

Continuing on with falsehood, Freemasonry claims that lodge ritual is largely a series of plays that teach morality. Well, certainly they are fiction. The plays, however, present as fact what is fiction, so they may be plays but they have the presentation of being truth. But in the course of this, Bible stories are mistold and Biblical characters are given roles that they don't ever have in the Bible. There is no biblical support for it. Now, I think Freemasons might argue that this is but a means, albeit an amoral or immoral means, to an end. But I view it as an insidious form of lie. It is falsehood with a religious gloss, and for traditional Anglicans the gloss is also enhanced by a wording which is a counterfeit of 1662 Prayer Book language. So it has this religiosity about it which appeals to people who know that tradition, which affects for example, many Presbyterians and Anglicans.

Now Freemasons learn their lodge ritual by heart. "By heart" is a significant phrase. By repeated listening to the ritual and reciting it, members become skilful at presenting it from memory. And this aggravates the danger. Much of what you learn you internalise. But it is not truth, it is falsehood. It is certainly not God's truth. Can I ask you, who wants us to be skilful in presenting falsehood? This same sort of rote learning and reiteration are used by evil regimes seeking to perpetuate themselves. So we put the same mechanism and manipulation to work.

Lodge ritual is agreed among Freemasons to be secret. The fact is, of course, that the ritual is largely available through books in most public libraries. However, as you proceed from one degree to another there are always new "secrets" to be learned, and most of us only get into the Blue Lodge and don't see beyond that. However, the problem is that the meaning of this ritual is obscure and questionable. In my judgement, there is sufficient evidence of hidden evil in the lodge ritual to repel any Christian.

It came to a point where I could no longer accept this accumulation of evil. It stood against everything I believed about the Lord and everything I had come to understand about the way He works. So I got out. It took me a long time before I got rid of my lodge regalia and books. I put them out in the garage, and then finally I had them burnt by a friend. It was reported to us by this friend, a priest, that when he had burnt it, there was nothing left. The metal buckles, the hinges, there was nothing - it had gone completely. That day my wife and I found a new freedom, and I rejoice for it."

(The above testimonies were both delivered in public meetings. Minor grammatical and other editing has been necessary to convert what they said to writing. The spirit of their messages remains unchanged.)