Anti-Masonic Tactics

"Almost anything that can be praised or advocated has been put to some disgusting use.
There is no principle, however immaculate, that has not had its compromising manipulator."

Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957), British author, painter.

The motives of anti-Masons are sometimes blatantly obvious. Hawking books, audio and video tapes, and CDs they use breathless prose to extol the the 'truth' that you can get from them. Invoking God and/or some immediately pending cataclysmic catastrophe, it never seems to fail that their hands are always out for donations as well as article sales.

Invariably too, there's an 'appeal to authority'. A supposedly 'top leader' of Freemasonry is quoted ~ perhaps using just a few words ~ to somehow prove beyond any doubt that the lurid premise is completely proven. It is supremely ironic, of course, that they never refer to the MANY other things that the individual may have written since to do so would completely contradict the picture the anti-Mason tries to paint. Even Masonic authors who have said in clear and unequivocal terms what they really believe are quoted out of context in the hopes that the unknowing and unwary will be swayed by the strange-sounding titles and the intermingling of casually-related phrases. Sometimes it's the use of a book published by an anti-Masonic 'vanity' publisher or sometimes they'll claim that writings against Masons or Masonry cannot be published by 'legitimate' publishers because they're all Masonically-controlled.

In some cases, these purveyors of lies hide behind real or imagined paranoia claiming that the truth cannot be fully told for fear of retribution of some kind.

And sometimes, they believe that God has spoken to them directly and told them to destroy the Freemasons - as if God is somehow incapable of doing such things without their assistance!

In this section, we talk about those who're visible in their anti-Masonic activities (i.e., not hiding behind some on-line identity which changes frequently). We also provide a review of some internal inconsistencies in their arguments and offer some of our thoughts on responding to 'antis'. You can reach these various sections by clicking on their respective buttons on the right. In addition, we've got a quick summary of some of the more egregious activities of anti-Masons over the centuries.

The repertoire of techniques is varied but most involve simple deceit. Common tactics are listed below. Click on each method for more information about how it is used.

Change the Subject Guilt by Association
Using Different Standards If You Were ...
Refuse to Answer Outright Lies
Oft-Repeated Falsehoods Quibble over Semantics
Faulty Logic Assumptive Positions
Prove It! Straw Man
Behave More Like a Mason

Change the SubjectIn our daily lives, we generally experience a fairly straight path when we discuss things with others. We're not experienced with those who would deliberately mislead or misdirect. Thus, when this tactic of deceit is used, Masons are caught off-guard. Assuming that the person with whom they're dealing has the same degree of honesty and integrity as themselves, it's a surprise to find that they're being led around in circles.

Guilt by AssociationThose against Masons and Masonry will point out human foibles or errors an individual Mason may have made as if somehow once a man becomes a Mason, he loses all of the weaknesses of the flesh. Because one person does a wrong, the argument goes, Masons are all guilty of it. What those against Masonry fail to acknowledge is that there were also those with whom they have been associated in the past engaged in similar wrongs.

Using Different Standards:  Anti-Masons will use any convenient argument to support their position. Despite the passage of decades (or even centuries), they'll readily apply 1990's standards to those in the 1850s or 1770s! Did George Washington own slaves? Then obviously - so the argument goes - he wasn't a very good Mason! It's convenient to use the political correctness of today to condemn Masonry as practiced many years ago. Don't fall for this sometimes overlooked ploy.

"If You Were....": This presumptive position often taken creates an untenable position - which is exactly the way the anti-Mason wishes it. "If you were to hit your wife...." is not far from the question "When did you stop beating your wife?". Such innuendo should be recognized for what it is.

Refuse To Answer: In an attempt to understand the motives of hatred, the Masonic supporter will often ask, "Why do you feel this way?" or "What religion do you belong to?" hoping that the answers will somehow provide enlightenment into the rationale for the position the anti-Mason is taking. As might be expected, those who want to 'tear down the walls of secrecy' they see in Masonry are often the most secretive themselves. Certainly, there's the exception who will even boast about certain parts of their lives, almost inviting the onlooker to become involved. In reality, though, they've done nothing more than to set a trap which they'll later use against others. "Why I even had some Mason show up at my door the other night. He had tracked me down and...."

Outright LiesIn our section on the categories of anti-Masonic activity, we identify several outright lies. This, however, does not stop them from being spread again and again.

Oft-Repeated FalsehoodsSometimes when a charge is made, it's difficult to determine whether it's true or not. "All of the police who're 'on the take' in London are Masons." is an example seen recently. Of course, this presumes that the one making the statement knows not only the Masonic membership status of every London police officer but also all of those who engage in illegal activities. It should be clear to even the most cursory observer how foolish this is - but to those who use this tactic, it makes perfect sense. Further, perpetuation of such foolishness will surely occur at some later time ("I read somewhere that all of the police....").

Quibbling Over SemanticsThis is a ploy of some who have engaged in these debates for a long period of time. One anti-Mason has frequently argued that he's not "anti-Masonic" but rather a "Masonic critic" and furthers the ruse by claiming that he specifically opposes the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. When called an 'anti-Mason', he'll protest loudly. A discerning eye can see that it's merely a technique to give him further opportunity to expound his hatred (because it simultaneously encourages the Mason to think that if only the question of language could be resolved, this person would change his position).

Faulty LogicWe see it often in the arguments which start with the wrong premise. For example: "All eggs are white. This round object is white and has all the properties of an egg. Therefore, this must be an egg." Wrong. You've forgotten (or perhaps don't know) that eggs come in brown also. It is an easy trap to fall into.

Assumptive PositionsOne of the most common tactics used against Masons and Masonry is designed to provoke a response which ignores the false premise. "If a Mason did (thus and so), what would you do?"  Of course, any time a Mason violates a law, rule, or trust, we are all the lesser for it - and, being human, that sometimes happens. This argument, however, often makes wild and fanciful suppositions in order to provoke the reader/listener into drawing the conclusion that such things did/do indeed happen - and perhaps regularly.

"Prove It!":  The reality is that negatives can rarely be proven but detractors ignore this, always looking for some other avenue to exploit. "Post all of the degree work right here and we'll see what it says...." goes a common challenge. Of course, regardless of what was posted, the anti-Mason will find some fault, even if it's a spelling error - and then will proceed to make some particular issue out of that. ("See? Those stupid Masons. They can't even spell!")

Straw Man: One very common tactic used by anti-Masons is to put forth a 'Straw Man': one who claims to have 'seen the light' and now can explain to the world from the 'inside perspective' the many supposed problems with Masons and Masonry. Most of these are readily seen as a total fraud (the supposed former Mason who's now a 'minister' but is apparently too embarrassed to reveal his denominational affiliation or the person who claims to be a 'high ranking Mason' who'll reveal all). To the unknowing, however, these pretenders are sometimes difficult to discern and can be very persuasive.

Behave More Like a Mason: We've always found it ironic that those who believe Masonry to be so very wrong would use this argument. It seems, though, that whenever a Mason has been goaded enough and lashes out at his tormentor, you frequently see the retort "That's not very Masonic behavior, is it?". Strange that in one breath they want us to abandon Masonry but in the next, they remind us of the standards we set for ourselves and encourage us to act in accordance with them.

anti-Masonry is pretty strange....

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It's frustrating. A person who tries to follow the tenets of tolerance and truth assumes the best about his accuser and will believe that a clear presentation of facts will be sufficient to explain things. As you'll see as you browse this site, however, not everything is what it seems - and if you're willing to believe the anti-Masonic rhetoric without proof from them, we trust that you'll find our answers - WITH PROOF - even more convincing!

And to prove our point, in June, 2000 a nameless, faceless anti-Mason took this particular page and mimicked it on a free web-page hosting service attempting to show the imagined evils of Freemasonry, complete with graphics used elsewhere on our  site. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, we'd rather hope that imitators and pundits might be more upright in their behavior - and a tad more original.  Of course, since most of their arguments are nearly 200 years old and far from original, we could hardly expect more!

Because that site's owner has been bounced from one free site and is constantly 'adjusting' the format of his present free location, we won't bother to point you to the specific page. It's somewhere on the Freemasonry Watch website, one of the most frenetic attacks to be found on the web - and hosted, curiously, by a site well known amongst militia groups. Look at the silly rhetoric, the rampant paranoia and the wild-eyed claims about the evils of Freemasonry - and see if anywhere that site's author is adult enough to identify himself. No, instead it's just more of the same that's discussed above. Anti-Masonry is just SO bizarre.... 

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Related Topics:

Strange Doings
Fraud
Tall Tales
Meetings
Caught Ya!

In addition,
don't miss these:

Types of Opposers
Opposing Groups
Opposing People
Anti-Masonic Tactics

 

 

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