There are countries that seem particularly prone to being influenced by conspiracy theories; Russia has been traditionally receptive to them, but so are the United States and the Mediterranean countries... [N]ot many people form their political opinions on purely rational and logical grounds, and it was much more comfortable and less painful to believe in the guilt of foreigners tahn to engage in soul-searching, to admit that the tsarist regime had been shortsighted, inefficient, morally corrupt, and obscurantist... In the context of this disaster [the Bolshevik revolution] the old propaganda of the Black Hundred [an extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic organization in Russia] about a world conspiracy of Jews, Masons, and foreign agents acquired a new credibility that it did not have before....
The idea of a global conspiracy by Freemasons to subjugate all mankind has been part and parcel of Russian extreme right-wing doctrine for a long time. This image of Freemasonry is very distant from the ideas of respecting the dignity of all human beings, the tolerance, and the willingness to help that gave birth centuries ago to Masonic lodges in various countries...
Freemasonry has been banned in virtually all dictatorships, including the fascist regimes, the Communist countries, and Franco's Spain. It was outlawed in tsarist Russia in 1822, and new lodges came into being there only toward the end of the century. The idea that the Puritan revolution in England was engineered by a secret society was widespread at the time. Later on, at the time of the French Revolution, the concept of a triple conspiracy (of philosophers, Freemasons, and Illuminati) produced by the Abbé Barruel and the Chevalier de Malet found many converts among antirevolutionaries. Jews were not included in the list of fellow conspirators simply because they did not yet play any part in European (or American) politics. This innovation came only in 1869... After the turn of the century, when the Zionist movement came into being, the Jews became the main partners of the Masons in the conspiracy. Yet others maintained that Zhidomasonstvo ("Jewmasonry," as it was called in Russia) was not even specifically Jewish, since the Jews belonging to it were déraciné, uprooted cosmopolitans.
Among the Russian right these ideas fell on fertile ground. There were certain obstacles to overcome, since many heroes of Russian history, such as General Suvorov, Marshal Kutuzov, and the Decembrists, had been Masons, as had Pushkin and countless other Russian writers. Nor could anyone in his right mind argue that Jews played any significant political role under tsarism. But on the other hand, Jews were prominent in the revolutionary movement and also in the economic development of the country... The conspiracy theory of history found its most famous expression in the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But the Protocols were evidently not deemed sufficient; a somewhat more sophisticated version of the theory was needed. Against this background, anti-Masonic literature became a major industry among Russian émigrés in the 1920s and 1930s. After 1987 these theories were disinterred by the extreme right in Russia and became part and parcel of its contemporary ideology...
According to the new-old version of Zhidomasonstvo which emerged in 1987-1988, all modern history had been a seamless conspiracy against religion, authority, national values... up to and including the establishment in Moscow of a Jewish-Masonic presence, in the form of the all-powerful American B'nai B'rith lodge, in 1990. These American Jewish Masons wanted not merely to build a new temple of King Solomon in the holy Russian capital but to establish their dominion over the Russian people once and for ever.
Subject: [3-3] Isn't Masonry just a place where businessmen make deals?
No. In fact, most Masons believe that to trade with a Brother Mason only because he is a Mason is unMasonic. Even more importantly, anyone who attempts to join a Lodge solely for business reasons will not be given a petition.
Masons, however, are friends, and it is not surprising that many Masons do trade with Brothers. For one thing, they are dealing with people that are of good character and can be trusted, which is no small statement in the modern marketplace.
But Masonry is not a "place to network". Yes, some men do view one of the benefits of membership as an additional source of customers or partners, but few would say that is the only reason they became Masons. The work involved in the degrees alone would make this a poor investment-- better to join the Rotary Club or other business group.
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