Letter: The secrecy of Freemasonry

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The Independent Online
Sir: The defence of Freemasonry by M. B. S. Higham (Letters, 3 July) makes no reference to the reason why many non-Masons are hostile to the cult and detest its secrecy - or privacy if you prefer - in particular.

I am not a Mason. Like many, I have read its pamphlets produced for public information, and I know that its principles include that 'every Freemason knows that his membership must not be used to promote his own or anyone else's interests'. It is the occasional revelation, presumably accidental, that this admirable principle has been ignored that causes worry and dislike.

During my service, I twice learnt from colleagues who were Masons, and were angry at the matter, that a fellow Mason had favoured families of Masonic brethren at the expense of other families. In one case the circumstances were really distasteful, sufficient to cause my informant to say he would leave the Lodge concerned. To my suggestion that he could and should raise the matter officially, he pointed out that such a representation must fall to be investigated by a particular very senior officer, who was also a member of the same military Lodge. I regret now that both of us, having our own interests to consider, did nothing.

I could accept the likelihood that these events were a consequence of a particular Lodge that was corrupt at that time and place, and that the generality is very different. Nevertheless, the secrecy leaves one wondering what else that is reprehensible occurs without becoming known.

Yours faithfully,




3 July