Re: A challenge!
Masons have nearly predictable means and methods, often less than savory. Whether it's because they're pushing their ideas:
* In order to sell books.
* Rampant paranoia or hate.
* Their altered belief system (they think it will get them standing before the "Great White Throne" of the "Great Architect of the Universe" in the "Great White Lodge of Freemasonry" of Sirius, which they believe they will go to when they die if their masonic "work" has not been "slip-shod").
* Their In-Group World View has been so much altered that for practical purposes of debate they have diminished capacity, i.e. they have become insane.
Masons use many different tactics to support their position. To further their goals, they'll use books published by 'vanity' publishers who may be Masonic as well. They will claim that "Pro" writings about Masons or Masonry cannot be published by 'legitimate' publishers because they're all "Anti"-Masonically-controlled. (In reality, it's because their tracts fail to meet the 'standards' of research required by traditional publishers - but often Masonic Propaganda and Dissembling Specialists fails to let truth enter the discussion). In addition, there are "Open Houses" and "Parades" held in the United States each year gathering a small group of Masons. Web pages, sometimes thinly disguised as information about "Difficult Questions about Freemasonry", and postings to various online venues add to their constant stream of misinformation.
we talk about those who're visible in their Masonic activities (i.e., not hiding behind some on-line identity which changes frequently). We also provide a review of some internal inconsistencies in their arguments and offer some of our thoughts on responding to 'Masonic Disinformation Propagandists'.
The repertoire of techniques is varied but most involve simple deceit. Common tactics are listed below.
Change the Subject Guilt by Association
Using Different Standards If You Were ...
Refuse to Answer Outright Lies
Oft-Repeated Falsehoods Quibble over Semantics
Faulty Logic Assumptive Positions
Prove It! Straw Man
Behave More Like a Christian or a Non "Stupid Athiest"
Change the Subject: In our daily lives, we generally experience a fairly straight path when we discuss things with others. We're not experienced with those who would deliberately mislead or misdirect. Thus, when this tactic of deceit is used, Non -Masons are caught off-guard. Assuming that the person with whom they're dealing has the same degree of honesty and integrity as themselves, it's a surprise to find that they're being led around in circles.
Guilt by Association: Those defending Masons and Masonry will point out human foibles or errors an individual critic of Masonry may have made as if somehow once a man becomes a "Anti" (as masons deceptively and derisively term those who question Masonic Disinformation tactics) , he loses all right to individual foibles . Because one person does a wrong, the argument goes, "Anti"-Masons are all guilty of it. What those Masonic Dissemblers fail to acknowledge is that there were also those with whom they have been associated in the past engaged in similar wrongs.
Using Different Standards: Masons will use any convenient argument to support their position. Despite the passage of decades (or even centuries), they'll readily apply 1850s or 1770s standards to those in the 1990s! Yes George Washington owned slaves and Albert Pike and Nathan Forest were in the KKK, but then so did everybody else ? Then obviously - so the argument goes - he was a very good Mason! It's convenient to use the political correctness of today to condemn critics of Masonry by branding them "Haters" as practiced professional dissemblers. Don't fall for this sometimes overlooked ploy.
"If You Were....": This presumptive position often taken creates an untenable position - which is exactly the way the Masonic Disinformation Propagandist wishes it. "If you were to hit your wife...." is not far from the question "When did you stop beating your wife?". Such innuendo should be recognized for what it is.
Refuse To Answer: In an attempt to understand the motives of "hatred", the Masonic supporter will often ask, "Why do you feel this way?" or "What religion do you belong to?", or "You're a Stupid Athiest aren't you?" hoping that the answers will somehow provide enlightenment into the rationale for the position the "Anti"-Mason is taking. As might be expected, those Masons who criticize those who want to 'tear down the walls of secrecy' they see in Masonry are often the most secretive themselves. Certainly, there's the exception who will even boast about certain parts of their lives, almost inviting the onlooker to become involved. In reality, though, they've done nothing more than to set a trap which they'll later use against others. "Why I even had some "Anti"-Mason show up at my door the other night. He had tracked me down and...."
Outright Lies: In our section on the categories of Masonic disinformation and propagansa activity, we identify several outright lies. This, however, does not stop them from being spread again and again.
Oft-Repeated Falsehoods: Sometimes when a charge is made, it's difficult to determine whether it's true or not. "Not all of the police who're 'on the take' in London are Masons." is an example seen recently. Of course, this presumes that the one making the statement knows not only the Masonic membership status of every London police officer but also all of those who engage in illegal activities. It should be clear to even the most cursory observer how foolish this is - but to those who use this tactic, it makes perfect sense. Further, perpetuation of such foolishness will surely occur at some later time ("I read somewhere that all of the critics of Freemasonry....").
Quibbling Over Semantics: This is a ploy of some who have engaged in these debates for a long period of time. One Masonic Disinformation Specialist from Maine, USA has frequently argued that he's not an "Anti" Mason Critic but rather "Anti" Mason Critical !!! and furthers this by saying that he specifically opposes the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. When called an Masonic Propagandist and Disinformation Specialist , he'll protest loudly. In reality it's merely a technique he uses in order to give him further opportunity to expound his hatred (and also encourage the Non-Mason (who Masons derisively refer to as the "Profane" and "Cowans") to think that if only the question of language could be resolved, this person would change his position).
Faulty Logic: We see it often in the arguments which start with the wrong premise. For example: "All eggs are white. This round object is white and has all the properties of an egg. Therefore, this must be an egg." Wrong. You've forgotten (or perhaps don't know) that eggs come in brown also. It is an easy trap to fall into.
Assumptive Positions: One of the most common tactics used against those who critize Masonic Propagada and Disinformation Specialists is designed to provoke a response which ignores the false premise. "If a "Cowan" did (thus and so), what would you do?" Of course, any time a "Profane" violates a law, rule, or trust, we are all the lesser for it - and, being human, that sometimes happens. This argument, however, often makes wild and fanciful suppositions in order to provoke the reader/listener into drawing the conclusion that such things did/do indeed happen - and perhaps regularly.
"Prove It!": The reality is that negatives can rarely be proven but detractors ignore this, always looking for some other avenue to exploit. "Post all of the degree work right here and we'll see what it says...." goes a common challenge. Of course, regardless of what was posted, the Masonic Disinformation Specialist will find some fault, even if it's a spelling error - and then will proceed to make some particular issue out of that. ("See? Those stupid Cowans. They can't even spell!")
Straw Man: One very common tactic used by Masonic Disinformation and Propaganda Specialists is to put forth a 'Straw Man': one who claims to have 'seen the darkness' and now can explain to the world from the 'inside perspective' the many supposed problems with those who criticize Masons and Masonry. Most of these are readily seen as a total fraud (the supposed Mason who's now a 'minister' but is apparently too embarrassed to reveal his denominational affiliation or the person who claims to be a 'high ranking Church Official' who'll reveal all). To the unknowing, however, these pretenders are difficult to discern and can be very persuasive.
Behave More Like a Christian or a Non "Stupid Athiest": We've always found it ironic that those who believe Masonry to be so very right would use this argument. It seems, though, that whenever a Non-Mason has been goaded enough and lashes out at his tormentor, you frequently see the retort "That's not very Christian Behavior is it?", or "You're a Stupid Athiest aren't you?". Strange that in one breath they want us to abandon Christianity or our right not to "believe" but in the next, they remind us of the standards we set for ourselves and encourage us to act in accordance with them. Masonic Disinformation and Dissembling is pretty strange....
It's frustrating. A person who tries to follow the tenets of tolerance and truth assumes the best about his accuser and will believe that a clear presentation of facts will be sufficient to explain things. As you'll see as you question Masonry, however, not everything is what it seems - and if you're willing not to believe the Masonic rhetoric without proof from them, we trust that you'll find the evidence we provide - even more convincing.
Good luck and don't give up. Remember trained, experienced, Masonic disinformation, propaganda, dissembling, and hate specialists are clever. Be on your "due guard".