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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus April 2002

Anti-Masonry Heating Up

The Masonic Information Center has had a dramatic increase in the number of requests for information to respond to attacks from anti-Masonic critics. Particularly, attacks from the religious community.

In an attempt to try to understand why these attacks are increasing and what is behind the nature of them, the Masonic Information Center invited Chip Berlet, author of Right Wing Populism in America; Too Close for Comfort, to participate in a discussion at a recent Masonic Information Center Steering Committee Meeting.

Mr. Berlet brought with him a number of books on conspiracy thinking in contemporary America and several books, originally published in the 18th century, claiming that "the enlightenment was a conspiracy promulgated by the Freemasons to undermine established belief structures."

He then went on to discuss how religious extremists view the reading and interpretation of religious texts and how people fuel their religious philosophy around what is wrong in society. The concept is to define which organizations (in their view) create social and religious instability in the world, and then work to get rid of these organizations. Once a group is demonized, then it becomes the central focus of challenge between right and wrong. To the conspiracist, the hero becomes the person who sounds the alarm that a group is evil.

It was also pointed out that many religious extremist groups had very high hopes for a major catastrophic event to occur at the beginning of the new millennium. When nothing they had anticipated occurred, their anger, frustration, and disappointment were unleashed in the form of attacks on groups they label as anti-Christian or involved in a "worldwide conspiracy" to take over the world. When this happens, Freemasonry is almost always at the top of their "enemies" list.

The Masonic Information Center is deeply concerned about these new attacks and realizes that many Masons would like to have good information to help them respond locally. We have a variety of publications available to respond to the attacks from religious extremists and conspiracy theorists.

A listing of the publications available through the Masonic Information Center are available here on the web.

The Masonic Information Center Publications

BROCHURES

A RESPONSE TO CRITICS OF FREEMASONRY Brochure responding to several of the alleged points of conflict between Freemasonry and Christian theology. #BR-120 $.05 each (in any quantity) plus shipping

FACTS ABOUT FREEMASONRY Brochure answering many of the most frequently asked questions about the Fraternity. #BR-110 $.05 each (in any quantity) plus shipping

WHO ARE THE MASONS? An attractive, easy-to-read introduction to Freemasonry. In lots of 50 only, plus shipping #BR-130 50 @ .27 = $13.50 100 @ .25 = $25.00 500 @ .23 = $115.00 1,000 @ .20 = $200.00

BOOKLETS

GET A LIFE: THOUGHTS ON FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION. 12 page-booklet discussing the relationship between Freemasonry and the religious community. $.60 each (PPD) 40% discount in lots of 50 or more copies, plus shipping BL-203

THERE IS NO SIN IN SYMBOLS: 16-page booklet showing pictures and explanations of symbols used in everyday life and symbols used by Masons and Masonic related organizations with explanations about their origin and meaning. $.25 each (PPD) 40% discount in lots of 50 or more copies, plus shipping #BL-201

WHAT'S A MASON? 16-page booklet describing the Masonic Fraternity and its purposes. Explains what happens in Lodge meetings and answers many frequently asked questions about the Fraternity. $.25 each (PPD) 40% discount in lots of 50 or more copies, plus shipping #BL-202

BOOKS

IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FREEMASONRY? By Art deHoyos and S. Brent Morris (foreword and addendum by Jim Tresner). A response to some of the more virulent anti-Masons, this book takes on several of Masonry's critics and refutes their charges. For example, Albert Pike and the "Luciferian" doctrine; James Dayton Shaw's "expose" of Freemasonry; Ron Carlson's lectures on the "Evils of Freemasonry" ….. all are discussed and refuted on a point-by-point basis. The 1997 Second Edition is updated with 100 pages of new material added. Available through MIC @$7.50 (PPD) quantity purchase (50 or more) 40% discount, plus shipping #BK-51

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