What is the goat?

What is this mysterious "goat" that masons aren't allowed to talk about to nonmembers?

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Jun 11, 2019
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Therre's no goat
by: Bob

First, I apologize for the very long delay. The owner of the site has been having some long-term family issues.

The 'goat' is a joke, a prank some Masons used to play on men about to be initiated, telling them that they had to ride a goat during their initiation ceremony. As most people of the time would know billy goats and could picture how nasty an experience that would be, it might have been rather scary.

The reality is that no goats have ever been involved, nor anything even remotely 'goatish'.

That said, there are persistent attempts to link Freemasonry to the very 'goaty' and very nasty image of Baphomet, a demonic image. Again, facts are useful. That particular obscenity first appeared in an 1854 book by a French occultist named Eliphas Levi. Levi was not a Freemason and the book was not about Freemasonry, but the image was later taken up by a French fraudster name Leo Taxil, who used it in some of his books as a purported Masonic image. Taxil later publicly admitted it was all a hoax designed to embarrass the Catholic Church (it's complicated) but the link between the image and Freemasonry keeps popping up.

In short, there's no goat in reality, but a little bit in conspiracy theory.

Jun 11, 2019
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Goat? NO GOAT NEW
by: Fred

Thank you for your question, as Bob so aptly put it, NO GOAT. It’s a very bad joke, and many Grand Lodges have firbidden any goat references. Riding the goat, in many cases, is used in the same way as " running the course, or taking up the gauntlet. Once again a very poor reference to a man going through a degree.

In short...no goat!!


Fred

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