A Secret Society Spills Its Secrets
October 4, 2006 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Freemasonry has a long history of accusations of evil conspiratorial machinations, both in print and elsewhere. But it seems that, if you ask most Masons, they're just in it for the booze. Now, the newspaper of record is taking a look at the Masons' efforts to open up to the public in this post-Da Vinci code age.
posted by huskerdont (49 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If anyone in Washington DC could show me how to go about becoming a Mason, I would love to try it out.
posted by parmanparman at 8:58 PM on October 4, 2006

To be one, ask one.
posted by keswick at 9:04 PM on October 4, 2006

Ah yes, the Masons. I have a friend that swears they are controlling the world, sucking the blood out of little baby girls and beating people into submission with their watchful eye.

Nice to know they're just about community service...or are they?
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 9:19 PM on October 4, 2006

I've heard my whole life about how mysterious and stunning the inside of that building was supposed to be--it'll be cool to finally see it. I think i know more about the masons from all the parodies and takeoffs (like the Simpson's stonecutters) and stuff than from them themselves.
posted by amberglow at 9:26 PM on October 4, 2006

They have always seemed on the level to me.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:31 PM on October 4, 2006

My grandfather is a Mason, and as far as I can tell he isn't controlling the world. But what do I know.
posted by p3on at 10:07 PM on October 4, 2006

I am a freemason. There are a lot less secrets than people think they are - the handshakes, the passwords, the passcodes, certain parts of the ritual, and the minutes/content of the meetings constitute just about all the secrets of masonry.

There is a practical reason for that level of secrecy, in some societies like Nazi Germany and Communist China masonry was/is underground.

I won't link to it, but you can google for Masonic ritual and in some cases find it in its complete form - there were some lodges in the USA which were infiltrated by Christian fundamentalists who then published the ritual on the Internet. When you read sites like this be careful, they often get facts wrong or confuse freemasons with other organizations (this happens a lot).

Masonry is a lot of thing to different people. Yes, to some it is a drinking club and there are guys who never understand the depth of the esoterics we discuss in our rituals - but most masons agree it is not purely a social organization, and not a service club - we do not accept everybody, and have a strong spiritual aspect most of those organizations lack.

If you want to become a mason, the thing to keep in mind is that masons are not an evangelical organization that seeks new members - this is actually forbidden. Some jurisdictions will hold meet and greets, tours, and the like - some advertise - but the best way to become a mason is to contact a mason. If you don't know one, look up the Grand Lodge of your province/state/territory in the phone book, call them and they will point you in the right direction.
posted by Deep Dish at 10:11 PM on October 4, 2006

It's hard to fear a man in a little car. Somehow people never think the Shriners are mysterious, just the base organization.
posted by dhartung at 10:12 PM on October 4, 2006

Somehow people never think the Shriners are mysterious, just the base organization

I am a Mason but not a Shriner. Where I live, you need medical clearance to become a Shriner. I don't know what they do in their intitiation but it is intense.
posted by Deep Dish at 10:18 PM on October 4, 2006

They have always seemed on the level to me.

Not to detract from your pun, MonkeySaltedNuts, but in the old days they didn't use a level--rather a plumb line and square. So they are only recently on the level.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:18 PM on October 4, 2006

Lots of my ancestors were Masons, including a ggg-grandfather, who was a grand master. You can see photos and tour the Philadelphia temple online. As huskerdont says, there is a lot of mistrust of, and objections to, Freemasonry out there. I admire a lot about the Masons, but since women are excluded, I have mixed feelings about them.
posted by gudrun at 10:23 PM on October 4, 2006

I understand the Mormons lifted most or all of their temple endowment ceremony from Masonry, so if you're a dead Mason chances are you can get into Mormon heaven. Not that you would want to.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:40 PM on October 4, 2006

The Structure of Freemasonry. (Click at bottom right to biggify)
posted by growabrain at 10:43 PM on October 4, 2006

If you go to their museum/display thingy at the masonic temple in DC, it actually has a little piece on how they DO kinda maybe want to try and control the world. Something about how they try to get accepted to some public office in local communities, and then try and help other masons in any way they can.

Not worded quite like that, but was certainly a bit of a jaw-dropper when I read it :D
posted by slater at 10:50 PM on October 4, 2006

That sounds like a fraternity more than a conspiracy group, though. I mean, how many Sigma Chis get their jobs from knowing other Sigma Chis?
posted by dw at 10:52 PM on October 4, 2006

Oh sod the fucking abattoir, that's not important!

But if any of you could put in a word for me I'd love to be a Mason. Masonry opens doors. I'd be very quiet, I was a bit on edge just now but if I were a mason I'd sit at the back and not get in anyone's way...
posted by Dunwitty at 11:59 PM on October 4, 2006

I can understand the Theistic and Enlightenment philosophies of the Masons but why the rubbish, (trouser leg lifting etc.), ceremonies?
posted by kingzog at 12:32 AM on October 5, 2006

#weapons-grade pandemonium: in the old days they didn't use a level--rather a plumb line and square. So they are only recently on the level.

Well, that certainly squares up things.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:05 AM on October 5, 2006

Can I link to I'm a Mason Now? Yeah, I thought I could.
posted by ssmith at 1:09 AM on October 5, 2006

deep dish: my father is a Freemason, but much as I admire the organization for their activities and philosophy, I never bothered to join, because I'm an atheist. Unless they changed the rules on that one?
posted by micketymoc at 1:31 AM on October 5, 2006

My grandfather was a Mason. One of his sons was also a Mason. The other son, my father, always hated Masons and talked about conspiracies. I never paid too much attention since he saw conspiracies everywhere. Once he took me to the Temple. I saw the statue of George Washington and the miniature parade. It was cool and my Dad never said anything about a conspiracy; he only did that when he was feeling left out. Years later I read War and Peace. When I read about Pierre becoming a Mason, I thought I understood something about what the organization was supposed to be about. Another element was supplied by Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King (and is present in the movie version). But that was a century and more ago. Now, the Masons = Shriner clowns. World order and the construction of ideal humanity and the dream of immediate brotherhood are either fantasy or the relics of bygone totalitarian polities. And I don't know what to make of that.
posted by CCBC at 1:37 AM on October 5, 2006

Just a footnote: the temple I visited was in Alexandria, Virginia.
posted by CCBC at 1:42 AM on October 5, 2006

I had a roommate who was a Mason, and I learned from him that many cops in the Deep South are Masons, so a Masonic ring is pretty much a lifetime "Get Out of Jail, Free" card.
posted by Optamystic at 2:14 AM on October 5, 2006

I had 2 grandfathers that were masons, and my father, too. My mother belonged to the ladies auxillary, Eastern Star. I've been inside lodges since early childhood. I probably would have been in DeMolay except I was a willful brat who loved sucking cock. Oh well.
posted by Goofyy at 2:40 AM on October 5, 2006

growabrain - thanks for posting that chart; turns out my late father was way further up the foodchain than I ever knew...

Given that I reckon he was at 31 or 32 on the Scottish Rite, maybe he was actually king of the world, rather than a hard-working brow-beaten salesman...

Who'd have thought it!
posted by khites at 2:50 AM on October 5, 2006

Meanwhile, in Italy..
posted by darkripper at 3:18 AM on October 5, 2006

fleetmouse: Speaking as a temple-attending Mormon, not (yet) a Freemason, but one who's done a bit of digging into the content and history of both rituals ... um, not really. There are a few similar symbols, and some similarities of procedure.

The similarities of procedure are not surprising; they address problems common to both systems, namely how to accurately and memorably convey an involved symbology as oral literature, preventing its profanation. Brigham Young, who was primarily responsible for developing temple procedure (not to be confused with establishing the sacraments themselves), was a devoted Mason and a practical man, and I suspect he didn't mind borrowing a known solution to solve a shared problem.

The similar symbols (not necessarily with exactly the same signification) are a bit more engaging. There are a number of explanations for them, not mutually exclusive, that are more interesting (and less heterodox) than "Joseph Smith ripped 'em off." We believe that God has revealed the same truths and sacraments many times throughout history, and so it is not hard to imagine the Masons' possessing and treasuring tattered remnants of previous dispensations' gospel. (Buried under a ton of crud; if there's any genius in Masonry, it is the genius for proliferating rites, degrees, ceremonies, appendants, auxiliaries, associations, offices, procedures, and jurisdictional discrepancies. But I digress.)

It is also acceptable Mormon speculation to say that God commissioned Joseph Smith to teach certain principles, but it was Joseph who saw that it could be done with a (possibly adapted) Masonic symbol, and then got God's permission. (Pro: Many of the conspicuously Mason-like elements were nonessentials, as shown by their removal from the 1990 recension of the temple ceremony. Contra: Joseph Smith was made a Master Mason at sight by Grand Master Abraham Jonas, i.e., he was raised the day after being entered, on account of his great facility with the teachings—suggesting pre-Masonic acquaintance with them.)

Yet another possibility is the convergent evolution of Masonic secrets: If you're going to identify yourself by a handgrip, there are only so many of them that can be done inconspicuously in the presence of outsiders. (Mormons do not now use temple secrets as modes of recognition in society, but I can't prove that it's never been done. In the Mormon worldview it stands to reason that they would be suitable for such, persecution being inevitable.)

There are a fair number of online and offline sources that discuss the similarities; whether they are intelligible to someone outside both traditions, I can't say. Google and ye shall find.

Incidentally, the Utah Grand Lodge's justification for excluding Mormons from their founding in 1872 was an accusation that Mormonism was clandestine Masonry. (citation) Since they rescinded that policy in 1984, I infer that they do not think a Mormon could pass for a Mason, nor the other way round.

I do find similarities in philosophy between the two organizations. (Insofar as I can call Masonry an 'organization'; they seem to be a magnificent example of the Discordian law, "Imposition of order = escalation of disorder.") Both teach perfectibility through personally striving to receive blessings of light from a higher power, both commend the cultivation of the mind, and both insist that a society of like-minded, committed peers is a powerful aid to that personal cultivation and a satisfying end in and of itself. These are appealing to me, and I intend to petition a lodge sometime when I'm settled down in an English-speaking country. But from all I can perceive (and I have read my share of unexpurgated Masonic ceremony) the priorities and emphases of Masonry and the temple are very different. I expect each to help me develop the capacity to parse the other, but if I had to choose only one, it would not be a tossup.
posted by eritain at 3:46 AM on October 5, 2006 [3 favorites]

I've always thought that the ritual gubbins is all designed to make everyone focus on that instead of the fact that a Mason's loyalty is to his fellow Masons, and no one knows who's a Mason and who isn't.

Which is ever so slightly problematic when it comes to, say, a Mason policeman building a case against a fellow Mason to be prosecuted by a Mason lawyer before a Mason judge, or when a Mason contractor bids for a council contract and the buying comittee contains two Masons, &c.

Low level local corruption is the problem with Masons, not world domination.
posted by jack_mo at 5:18 AM on October 5, 2006

Thanks for the interesting comments, eritain.
posted by UKnowForKids at 5:48 AM on October 5, 2006

micketymoc: professed atheists are not permitted to join the Masons. This does not prescribe any particular religion, but a man must believe in a higher power to be made a Mason.

And jack_mo, that has been a common accusation for centuries, but it doesn't hold much water when Masons now wear rings and shirts identifying themselves as Masons, put bumper stickers and emblems on their cars - hell, even post on websites identifying themselves as Masons. Freemasonty is not a "secret society", as much as its detractors have wanted to paint it as such for a very long time.

* waves to Rough Ashlar *
posted by yhbc at 6:00 AM on October 5, 2006

I'm fascinated by Masonic conspiracy theories because they're so popular in Russia (usually linked with anti-Semitism: the Jews and Masons, combined as "zhidomasonstvo," secretly control world history). I first became aware of this when reading Nina Berberova's bitchy but irresistible memoirs The Italics Are Mine; she obsessively mentions people's Masonic connections and hints darkly at secrets that were revealed to her. The best discussion I've seen is in Chapter Three of Walter Laqueur's Black Hundred: The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia; here are a few excerpts:
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.
As for P2, there's a much clearer history here than at darkripper's Wikipedia link.
posted by languagehat at 6:15 AM on October 5, 2006

Part of my MA thesis required me to go hang out in the temple library. Everyone there was perfectly nice; they left me alone in their library for hours at a time. I wonder if I would have had to be Eastern Star in order to figure out what the hell order the books were shelved/piled in, though.

The worst part about it was that if you tell someone your thesis is on the Masons, they have this gut reaction, "Oooh, aren't they creepy?" No. They're just kind of dusty.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:30 AM on October 5, 2006

Another traveling man here -- raised in St. John's Lodge, #1, Portsmouth, NH (founded in 1736, it's the oldest continously operating lodge in North America -- although we're not too dusty -- most of our officers are in their thirties). If any mefiters are going to be in Portsmouth, NH, I'd be happy to give a tour of our temple building and the many Masonic landmarks in Portsmouth. Drop me a line.

For a history geek like me, Freemasonry has been endlessly fascinating -- especially in a city as old and steeped in Masonic tradition as Portsmouth, NH.
posted by Toecutter at 6:50 AM on October 5, 2006

Both my grandfathers were masons, though my great-grandfather was an Oddfellow. Thus, growing up I always identified the masons as a group of WW2 vets who hung out together. I plan to become one, however.

As for the mason temple/shrine in Alexandria, you can't miss it if you're on the Metro or driving around.
posted by Atreides at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2006

My mother's family is from McAlester, Oklahoma, home of the Rainbow Girls. My mother never joined, though, since she was Catholic.

Another anecdote: A friend of mine picked up an old sword at a garage sale. It was battered and looked ceremonial. He showed it to his girlfriend at the time, and she blanched, then started going "WHERE DID YOU GET THIS?" After a few rounds of arguing, she said that her family had a number of Masons, and thus she knew that the battered sword was one that belonged to a 33rd degree Mason.

She insisted that he hand it over to the nearest lodge, but I believe he still has it (and not her).
posted by dw at 7:12 AM on October 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

And jack_mo, that has been a common accusation for centuries, but it doesn't hold much water when Masons now wear rings and shirts identifying themselves as Masons, put bumper stickers and emblems on their cars

Really? The Home Office had to force police officers to register their membership of the Masons after a voluntary scheme was boycotted, the MOD banned all Masonic activity on their property and banned Masons from recruiting military colleagues. Judges, prison officers and probation officers are all required to declare membership (I forget the outcome of the debate over MPs being forced to declare). I suppose that's all a precaution just in case a Mason might ever consider giving a fellow Mason preferential treatment, without anyone outside the Masons knowing that they're both Masons.

I'm not saying it's any more sinister and spooky than, say, members of the same golf club doing each other favours on the sly, but it's still corruption.
posted by jack_mo at 7:57 AM on October 5, 2006

deep dish: my father is a Freemason, but much as I admire the organization for their activities and philosophy, I never bothered to join, because I'm an atheist. Unless they changed the rules on that one?

There are two answers to this I guess. You will find that masonry is practiced somewhat differently in different regions. For example there is a part of the newspaper article that mentions being able to do all three degrees in one day - I have never heard of this being done outside the USA.

The first answer is that an athiest cannot be mason. The second is that, usually a belief in a "higher power" is sufficient where I live, and nobody is going to press you on the details of your beliefs (religious discussion is actually forbidden in open lodge). There are some spiritually-related questions you are expected to answer in the affirmative - it would depend if you are comfortable to answer them that way. Masonry addresses God in a more general sense - prayers are sometimes said, but it really isn't specified who (or what) you are praying to.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:37 AM on October 5, 2006

I, too, was asked to join the masons and failed on account of my atheism. Higher power, higher shmower! Which is a shame, because I hear sometimes masons look out for other masons and put a bit of work their way.

Could just be a rumour, though.
posted by Sparx at 1:09 PM on October 5, 2006

Joining the Masons in expectations of material benefits like those is generally frowned upon, Sparx.

Besides, that seems like a losing proposition, since the number of Masons (along with all other fraternal orders and most civic organizations in general) has been dropping like a rock for years now.
posted by keswick at 1:13 PM on October 5, 2006

If anyone in Washington DC could show me how to go about becoming a Mason, I would love to try it out.

Yay! I called the Scottish Rite Lodge in Washington and we're meeting next Wednesday.
posted by parmanparman at 3:11 PM on October 5, 2006

My great-grandfather was a 42nd level mason (or so I'm told), but his real passion was being a Shriner. He had strong feelings about getting burn hospitals for children built.

He has long since passed away, and I didn't was a bit too young to ask the right questions of him, so most of what I learned, I got from my great--grandmother and my grandmother.

It really was fascinating stuff.

One of my big goals is to eventually track down his Masonic ring. Everyone claims that they don't know where it is, but I'll find it. Also, I will one day get a fez. Not because he was a Shriner, but because, well come on... it's a fez.
posted by quin at 4:44 PM on October 5, 2006

Master Mason here. It's been said that Masonry isn't a "secret society" but rather a society with a few secrets. Others have ridiculed the whole concept...we put the square and compasses outside our lodges, and even publish the meeting times on street signs along the roads.

A lot of the questions and discussion raised (no pun intended) in this thread is addressed in the excellent Masonry FAQ.

On the subject of doing business with Masons, the FAQ has this to say:
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.
There are a lot of things about Masonry I've always found fascinating and still do. For example, as a petitioner I was informed that Masonic tenets have had a tremendous influence on the laws and structure of the United States government, and the Constitution. There are parallels to the primary concepts enshrined in the Bill of Rights (and subsequent amendments) echoed in Masonry: equality, freedom of worship, voting, elected office, term limits, and other things. It's no surprise there are many parallels really, considering how many of the Founding Fathers were Masons.

Another thing that becomes apparent in Masonry is just how many phrases in common usage (seemingly) have roots in Masonry. "Blackballed" is how Masons vote against something. "The third degree" refers to the Master Mason degree: a trial to be endured, where the fellow is questioned rather harshly. "On the level", "on the square", "square deal", and similar phrases all find their roots in Masonry. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky date because that's the date (Friday October 13, 1307) when Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake. Examples abound.

As for ritual and degree work, though you can find some of the stuff online...it does not compare to the majesty of experiencing it firsthand. Reading ritual and expecting to get the idea is akin to reading the lyrics and thinking it's a substitute for the album.

As for the various conspiracy theories which involve Masonry ruling the world and subjugating it, consider this...it's no surprise that every authoritarian government made Masons a target for oppression. If Masonry were insignificant or powerless, the Hitlers and Stalins of history would have simply ignored it. Masonry operates openly in places which are free, and operates underground in places which are not.

The Grand Lodge of the State of NY recently granted a charter to Land, Sea and Air Lodge #1 in Baghdad, Iraq. Opposed though I may be to the war, I think that's pretty nifty.
posted by edverb at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2006

totally interesting stuff you guys--thanks...and i'll take you up on that, toecutter, if i ever get up there.
posted by amberglow at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2006

micketymoc- I wondered the same thing. I've done a little more searching and it seems that what yhbc says seems to be mostly true though there seems to be some leeway in the intrepretation of "higher power." Go to your local Masonic Lodge and ask.
posted by lekvar at 5:46 PM on October 5, 2006

Edverb: Some of those are false etymolgies. The Friday the 13th superstition is cross-cultural and predates Masonry.
posted by Miko at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2006

Edverb: Some of those are false etymolgies

Correction: All or almost all (I'm not going to do the research right now) of those are false etymologies. I appreciate the expertise you bring to the discussion of the Masons, but being a Mason does not make one an expert on word origins, and you should realize that members of every in-group love stories that derive words and phrases from that in-group. Sailors and those who love the sea are so fond of this that the folks at Wordorigins.org have adopted the term CANOE for naval fake-etymologies; this is just a Masonic version of the same thing.

But Masonry is not a "place to network".

That's clearly not true, even from the evidence of the quoted text itself. What they mean is that it's not just a place to network, and that is clearly true, but exaggerating a valid point only detracts from it.
posted by languagehat at 6:03 AM on October 6, 2006

[me giving "secret" handshakes to fellow travelers]

The perfect ashlar - a 90+ year old man giving a 15 minute lecture during degree work, from memory, with no mistakes.

The rough ashlar - yeah, you know who I am.

Skull and Bones it ain't.
posted by nofundy at 9:58 AM on October 6, 2006

Masons, like chiropractors, vegetarians, and people who dance the waltz, are one of those groups of people who who were once inexplicably considered sinister but would now be perfectly at home on a senior citizens' cruise.
posted by juliarothbort at 2:37 PM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

LanguageHat: Thanks for that...I always remain ready to revise my understanding. I would imagine someone with your love and aptitude for precision of language would find a great wealth of material in the work of Freemasonry, even if not the examples I (erroneously) provided.

Nofundy: Well said.
posted by edverb at 5:47 PM on October 6, 2006

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