Sunday, 3 November 2013

Freemasonry and the Working Classes

No Artisan Lodges in France.


Behold, Masonry is attacked by militant syndicalists of the General Confederation of the working classes in France, as also by other advanced socialists! A few weeks ago, the secret underhand craft was denounced and branded, before a numerous meeting in Paris, chiefly composed of socialists, as an organisation destined to exploit the people.  
The Citoyen Pataud said in his speech that Masonry was more formidable than what he thought, and Citoyen Janvion, in an interesting and documented speech, quoted, amongst other declarations, that of the Mason Brother Maurice, at the Masonic Convent of 1890: "In ten years hence, Freemasonry will have carried the day, and not a man outside of us shall budge in France." The speaker described at length the manoeuvres by which the craft endeavours to lay their hand upon the workingmen's syndicate. Does, then, Masonry entertain popular and social aspirations? No, never; but it was shown with perfect, accurate proofs that it is doing its best to seize hold and exploit the socio-economic currents of the country, after having got hold of politics and of education. As for the people, it is absolutely hostile to them.

Workmen and the Lodges.

Masonry is not socialistic. It won't allow workmen to invade the lodges. Not only is there not one lodge in existence composed of artisans, but there exists not even one where workmen could form a little group or Masonic Association of their own. Once a workman, is admitted into Freemasonry, even as a novice of the craft, he practically is no longer an acting professional workman. He then obtains a certain political influence if he is a good "spouter," and becomes a leader on the electoral platforms, and presides, as a rule, at socialistic meetings. And to such, Masonry opens the portico of the temple. The masses of the simple working men remain outside, fit only to carry out the programme fixed by the chiefs in directing the people's votes on electioneering days, and otherwise becoming ringleaders. But Masonry is eminently bourgeoise in the narrow, sectarian, odious sense of the term. This is a curious and characteristic fact which has not been frequently remarked. It was, perhaps, Mr. Copin-Albancelli, to whose keen and prolonged observations many most essential things have come into light, who has signalled and caught in its clear sense the vital spirit animating Masonry as a caste, without prejudice to another spirit, anti-religious, hypocritical, and abject, by which the craft is so well known, and of which there exists divers proofs, all equally convincing.

The Entrance Fee.

But there is one which is most demonstrative and simple when one comes to observe it carefully, as Mr. Copin-Albancelli gives an example of it, namely, the entrance fee to get into a lodge. The lowest fee for the least candidate to the membership in the simplest lodge is far above the means of working-men. . . . . Now, those figures are not merely maintained by chance or routine but by rule, systematically to keep a certain class of people outside the lodges. Freemasonry boasts of an ardent love of equality, but this equality is not extended to the most numerous class of citizens who cannot stump up.  

Other Proofs.

Other proofs of a different order are easily seen.  The working-classes would grumble to be kept back; they would object to submit to the jargon of the Masonic ritual; they would sneer at so many shop-keepers and sundry kinds of politicians as improvised pontiffs; they would not be sufficiently educated, refined and undisciplined, whom the bourgeoise Masonry could not easily direct and scarcely govern.
Up to this the workmen did not know that the Masons who use them as cat's paws consider them, by their sacred rule, as individuals of a detestable caste or class of society. In their churches they are at home with God, rich and poor, whilst they are kept outside those sinister lodges, whilst the Masons use them only to cheat and tyrannise them. The more the poor working man comes to realise this abominable fact, on which too much light cannot be thrown, the better they will see that Masonry, while boasting to love them and to take their part, makes only tools of them for the Masons' interest and for the poor man's greater objection and ruination.

To Return to the Meeting.

As mentioned above, there was held a few weeks ago in Paris an anti-Jew and anti-Freemason meeting by a large number of socialists in the hall of the Societes Savantes. The president of the meeting, M. Pataud, commenced by saying that some of his friends had told him that he was wrong to hold this meeting, because it was a dangerous undertaking. This gave him to think, that the Freemasons, against whom he had come to speak, are more dangerous than, it was thought, and that it was for him a reason more to carry out the day's programme, which he had chosen. The attendance was mostly composed of men of the working classes. The speaker said that the Freemasons of the different lodges had received orders to place as many Masons as possible into the different Government offices. Now, at present the position of the country is this, he said, that 40,000 officious spies are at work to the detriment of 40 million of profanes. To catch hold of their syndicates the Masons commenced by starting unions, trying to gain the minds and sympathies of the Workman, with the intention to divest these from their just aim; speaking to them of religion they are made to lose sight of the large employers; speaking to them of the failures of Christianism they will forgot the failures of the millions of the congregations promised to them as the capital for the old age pension; by speaking to them of the Cures they hush the crimes of the capitalists. Several facts of Masonic intervention in the syndicates wore mentioned, he continued to say, notably the correspondence between the secretary of the syndicate of the stenodactylographs and a venerable of the Masonic lodge called "Charitable Friends" soliciting adherents. Thus the syndicates of the miners in the North of France are mostly monopolised by Freemasonry. In many other cases Freemasonry was at the bottom of the strike, and a good many of the good class of working men were thus gained over to them (groans, and cries of "Down with the Jews, down with Rothschild"), but the speaker requested the audience to keep quiet, this being no lodge, he said.

He Preferred a Cure.  

And in reply to a voice: "You speak like a Cure," the chairman said he preferred a Cure, whoso life is known to all, and who wears his cassock publicly, to a Freemason who hides his apron. (Great applause.) Ten years ago such would not have been the case at public meetings of this kind. The speaker continued to say that they can meet always in their hall at the Commercial Buildings, open to all of them. Not so with regard to that under the pillars of the Masonic Temple. Beware of the latter one, he said, which is the stronghold of the international "Juverie." The Masonic and the Juverie do their best at present to trap  and boss the movement of the working classes. It is not for nothing, he said, that you perceive the faces of Drefus amongst the Labour Party, of Rothschild in the railways, and of Pereire behind the guillotine, dressed for Durand, who killed a striker because he had resumed work.    

The Votes.    

The speaker concluded by saying that he was not in the pay of any party. He worked for them, for their own good and interest, and he hoped that they would do their duty as he had done, what he thought his sacred duty. (Great applause, and cries of "Down with the Jews," "Down with the Masons who exploit and beggar us.") The following vote was then proposed:
"That on the 3rd of April, 1911, in the Hall of the Societes Savantes, 1800 socialists, having heard the chairman exposing the attempts of Freemasonry to attract to themselves the formidable syndicalistic movement newly started, an attempt which, if it succeeded, would quash the object of the movement, the struggle of the working man again the capitalist, and understanding and being made aware of the danger that Freemasonry will form, workingmen's syndicates deserving better the name of associations of malefactors, has decided to live in future on a food more substantial than that of anti-clericalism, and, taking a note, without being precisely anti-Semitists that the principal Jewish capitalists (Rothschild and others) are the guiding accomplices in the said Associations. They exhort the militant syndicalists to keep aloof of the Masonic Lodges, where they could only compromise themselves, and betray their comrades to the detriment of a sacred, good cause." (Thundering applause— "Down with the occult Masonic influence," "Down with the capitalists, especially the Jews.")

 The Catholic Press 25 May 1911,

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