I didn't mean to come off sounding harsh. No offense to you, but a website doesn't trump my personal experience.
Albert Pike's book only pertains to Scottish Rite Freemasonry and it isn't the book of rituals, but its rather a supplement to the degrees.
Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it.
An extremely true statement.
The Scottish Rite is only a branch of the "Masonic Tree". The Blue Lodge is the base of the tree and no branch is superior to the Blue Lodge (ie you lose membership in Blue Lodge you are gone from all of Freemasonry while if you lose membership in a concordant body you are gone from just that concordant body).
As neither Rite (York vs Scottish) is superior to the Blue Lodge I will say its an enhancement on the experience that teach some lesson. I am in the York Rite and it is Christian oriented.
The "upper" level Masons would be by their title (Lodge officers and Grand Lodge officers/members), but there are no secrets from State level to local.
As for the article comments:
I was intrigued with Richard's comment until he was trying to tie Crowley with Freemasonry. There are dozens of speculations about Crowley, but all of the evidence shows he joined a irregular or clandestine Lodge, which women can join. Nor was he ever a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason.
PS: The Gnostic Mass description really grossed me out.
I laughed at Eric's comments as there are not that many politicians that are Freemasons nor could I find evidence that Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, or Kenneth Copeland were ever initiated into the Craft.
The Tower of Infamy link didn't work, but I guess that it wasn't a Masonic grip. But rather someone seeing what they wanted to see.
More to come...