Disclaimer: I’m not a Freemason and don’t participate in their rituals, so, what do I know? There is plenty of literature by disaffected Freemasons. Go read that to find out all that which is ever so boring to me. Though if I had someone in the parish willing to take me through all the rituals, one by explaining the significance of all the little bits and pieces, I think that would be most instructive as to what the Freemasons are all about. Otherwise, that discussion is simply a distraction. I would rather talk about my own experiences, or about directives on the Catholic side of things so that we know what’s expected of Catholics regarding Freemasonry and why. I do know about my own experiences of course, and I happen to know quite a bit about recent directives from the Holy See about just what it is one is to do in the face of Catholics joining Freemasonry. Let me begin with what might become a series of articles by relating my first experience with a Freemason, and if a Freemason objects that no one speaks for Freemasonry, then neither does he.
I was twenty years old and over in Italy, seriously thinking about going into the seminary, already piling on the academics and getting introduced to the piety and philosophy and theology and liturgy and history and saints and spirituality of the Catholic Church, all new to me, really, since my parish back home was really quite pitiful in all these areas. A friend, if I can call him that, from Los Angeles and also over in Italy for studies, had just given up on his vocation to the priesthood altogether and was instead bragging that his father was really wonderful because he was a high-up Freemason, all the way up, actually. As he went on and on about life as a Freemason he became much more animated, filling himself with adrenaline, his eyes becoming as wide as saucers, and he began dancing about as a boxer might just before engaging in a first punch, but instead he was striking the air to punctuate his statements about his father and Freemasonry and what doors can be opened. The more filled with adrenaline one becomes, the less that which is reasonable can make up part of the picture. He was sweating and extremely nervous. He now quickly moved on to two points:
- One of the things his father told him was that when one is high up in the Freemasons there is an expectation that one will kill a Catholic before one dies. Now, I don’t know if that be the truth or not and that’s not the purview of this account, but there was no reason for him to lie, especially in view of what he was about to do.
- He then immediately told me to prepare to get my neck broken, you know, in the sense, of course, that one might “break” one’s knuckles by popping a bit of air in the joints. “Just let it happen,” he said. And then, totally wide-eyed and way overflowing with adrenaline he proceeded to just about break my neck by just about ripping it right off my shoulders, twisting it right around and forcing it with all his might when it stopped, dragging my whole body off balance and to the side. This was no simple chiropractic move nor was he a chiropractor. Little did he know that he was dealing with Mister-Super-Loose-Skeleton-Guy (that would be myself, another of my many genetic “defects” which saved me quite a number of times). My self-rotation range of motion for the head is only about 90 degrees in one direction, but with a bit of pressure this can be forced a bit more. And he did try to extend this beyond 110-115 degrees but couldn’t do it. I’m really very thick necked. But he was really very big, perhaps 6′ 4″ and 275 pounds and very strong indeed. At the time I was only about 170 pounds. When all was said and done, my C2 et al. really hurt (and still do now and again). I didn’t hear any popping, but I sure did hear, perhaps from the inside out, what sounded like fractures. When you tell someone a “If I tell you I’ll have to kill you” bit of information, you have to make sure to kill that person after you tell them whatever it is you’re bragging about. He failed I’m happy to say. I guess my stiff-necked muscles intervened. I also have a great guardian angel. [All guardian angels are great!]
I looked up this guy’s name on the internet and came up with a spitting image of him in Los Angeles where he wanted all his dreams to come true. He hasn’t changed a bit in 36 years. Amazing. If it’s him. But I really think it is. A spitting image, if I do say so. If it is him, the pictures, taken to be published widely – he’s famous now – indicate that he needs prayers. Such immorality. Such dishonor. Such disrespect for others. I don’t necessarily put that on the Masons. It is what it is in the history of his own life. I forgive him. I hope he comes around before he dies.
I know. I know. To those who say Freemasons don’t exist and that they were created by conspiracy theorists, blah, blah, blah, I say, count the number of Lodges in your neck of the woods.
Moreover: You have to know that what I say here doesn’t for a second stop me from listening to what Freemasons have to say to me, if anything. But more on that later. And just to say, what I do have to say was highly appreciated by someone as high up in Freemasonry as this fellow’s father. Bear with me, those on either side.