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Masonic News & Views - The death of the Illuminati?
March 10, 2014
I'm puzzled and would appreciate your help. Almost since the Masonsmart Web site went live on the Internet, over seven years ago, I've been fielding requests from men in far flung corners of the world wanting to join our fraternity. As much as possible I've tried to direct them in contacting local Masons or the appropriate Grand Lodge. In locating legitimate Masonic resources in their area I frequently came across fake Masonic Web sites. Early on these sites would have been comical had they not been part of a confidence game designed to defraud and steal. Their information contained glaring mistakes that would be obvious to any initiated Mason. And yet, too often I heard from people who had fallen prey to these frauds and lost hard earned money in the form of fake membership fees.
Over the years these sites have become more polished, and it has become much more difficult to spot evidence that they're fakes. In some cases I've even found information copied directly from Masonsmart and pasted into these fake Masonic sites. In case you're wondering, yes all of this is illegal. But, apparently it's not illegal enough or big enough to interest the authorities. By contacting the hosting company it is sometimes possible to get these sites shut down, but they just pop up under another domain name and they're back in business in the same day.
The Lady BG was doing research recently and she asked me what I knew of the Illuminati. I told her not much, but as it happened I had come across a Web site* some time back that I considered, without any solid evidence, may be legitimately connected to the Illuminati Order. I went in search of that Web site and when I found it again I got quite a surprise. The site now consisted of only one page and across the top of the page was this headline, "After nearly 250 years, and following intense and lengthy debate, the Illuminati Order has decided to publicly abandon the Illuminati name."
The page went on to say that due to the conspiracy theorists and the lies about the Order that permeate the World Wide Web the name, Illuminati, was irretrievably lost. The Order itself would continue but under a different and undisclosed name. Is it possible, I wondered, that the online scammers, frauds and liars had managed to do unwittingly what Kings and Popes could never accomplish, not by purposefully driving the Illuminati out of existence but simply by using them to death?
And then I wondered about us, the Freemasons. These same scammers, frauds and liars are using legitimate Masonic information that we publish online to lure the innocent and ignorant into their web of deceit and thievery. They are using our words, our educational efforts, our good intentions to steal and destroy.
I'm not saying I think the Masonic fraternity is in danger of going the way the Order of the Illuminati, perhaps, has. But, are we going too far in our efforts to educate and enlighten the un-initiated? By openly sharing so much information on the Web are we providing these cowans and eavesdroppers with the very ammunition they need to rob people of their money and heedlessly to damage our reputation in the world? Are we, in any way, responsible for providing this ammunition? Is there anything we can do to stop the thievery? Or, are we merely to play an endless game of whack-a-mole?
I'd like to hear what you think.
p.s. If you're wondering what happened to the CowChows stories I've got news from the CowChows coming soon.
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