Another phony Mason-like group - unscrupulous to the core - is the so-called Alharam Club which says it's part of the "Alharam Lodge #1- a Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons operating under the Jurisdiction of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Prince of Lebanon".
Of course, their self-styled "Grand Lodge" is neither known nor accepted by ANY other Grand Lodge in the entire world - but that's no bar to them offering membership in "Masonry" to those on the web who inquire - and are willing to pay the price! Their bulletin board is even answered by their "Grand Master" who also, curiously - and opposed to the way Freemasonry operates anywhere in the world except in the spurious groups like Mr. Lindsey's Virginia organization - is also the guy who's the Master of the one and only lodge in their "Prince of Lebanon" Grand Lodge. Must be Grand indeed....!
Their identity hidden, possibly to avoid charges of fraud, they seem to operate from Turkey. They solicit money from those wanting to be Masons or gain access to supposedly "special" sections of their website. In the Fall of 2002, I found that my ENTIRE "Famous Freemasons" and "Famous Non-Masons" page had been copied verbatim to their website - graphics and all (even left unedited with back-references to other parts of this website). After unanswered protests, they've now conveniently moved my work to their 'members access only' section. I suspect that those who pay for "membership" will find that all of the rest of their material which they've hidden is nothing that anyone can't get for free from the sites where it originated.
Now theft of others' material and hiding it behind some sort of 'members only' front is nothing at all new on the internet. In fact, others in this section seem to do it regularly. It's a lure for the unsuspecting. With limited knowledge of Freemasonry, the lure of getting the 'special sauce recipe' with nothing more than a few dollars is enticing to be sure.
Their site, though, contains MANY things which one simply does not find on legitimate Masonic sites. There were stock quote links and a page for - wouldn't you know it? - DONATIONS! Now asking for donations is not something new to Freemasonry: the many, many charitable endeavors are well known. However, Freemasons simply do NOT solicit funds for themselves - at least from non-members as the sleazy Alharam Lodge does. They claim that their website is just SO busy that they need YOU to help pay for it. (Our own site has traffic that commercial companies would 'die' for and yet we pay for this from our own funds and wouldn't think of asking others to help out! Few Masons would....) Ironic, isn't it? Virtually NOTHING on their site is free: everything is hidden in their 'members only' section (which costs money) and yet the "Owners and Staff" make a plea for your donation here. Here's another clue: if a Grand Master EVER describes himself as "Owner" (unless he's talking about the electrical supply store he owns or something), RUN very quickly. Something definitely isn't right!
People who steal AND pretend to be something they aren't in order to cheat others out of hard-earned cash deserve the condemnation of ALL good men and women. These people are thieves and should be treated accordingly.
Why not go to their Bulletin Board (go here and click on the "Message Board" selection a short way down on the left. You'll get some popup boxes because they use a free message board but just close them out and you'll be fine!) and express your opinions? If they're critical, you'll find your message removed quite promptly - yet another proof of their illegitimacy. We ask that you be polite and simply express your displeasure with their tactics. If enough people write, maybe this sham will evaporate although if there's an opportunity to steal money from gullible people, folks like Joe and his Alharam Club will be around forever!
Bottom line: there's no such thing as "International Freemasonry". Don't waste your money!
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