The Masonic Myth
Unlocking the truth about the symbols, the secret rites, and the history of Freemasonry
Whenever anyone refers to my writing as "feisty and often sarcastic", I figure they've pretty much taken my measure accurately - although 'sardonic' would have been my choice for the later word. Mason Jay Kinney lists a small group of websites - including this one - in his Appendix A where that comment was made. Despite his agreeable assessment of this site, Kinney still had a large hurdle to overcome with me because of my pre-conceived notions about his 'place' as a Masonic author. This is a fellow with a STRONG esoteric background; for a 'meat and potatoes' Mason like myself, it's scary whenever one of those 'others' try to explain things like symbolism and stuff. Too sarcastic? Me? Really??? I dunno.... A LOT of Masons don't understand what those with an 'esoteric bent' are all about - or why they're in Freemasonry. Admittedly, the older I get, the more I seem to see the bigger picture - but I still like my black and white mirrors. Forgive the digression.
Kinney's goal was to produce an "accessible narrative" and this book certainly qualifies as such. His premise that "the truth is stranger than fiction" is one which has propelled this site's continuance for lo these many years so we seemed on the same wavelength from the outset. This also is clearly not a book written along the Dummies/Idiot's line. At the outset, though, it was apparent that the author was going to attempt to follow a more-or-less timeline approach. This is the problem which has caused many a writer about Freemasonry over the centuries to flounder and sink miserably. Much to my pleasant surprise, Jay has been able to pull it off handily.
Now I would suggest that Bro. Kinney, while seemingly dismissive of this website, could have improved his accuracy had he double-checked our list of Famous Non-Masons before stating (without any source) that Sean Connery was a Mason. He isn't, Jay - unless you know something the rest of the world doesn't! A famous person being falsely listed as a Freemason happens pretty easily as the Dummies author can confirm. While a lot of Masons have 'cut their teeth' on this website when first beginning (Kinney was not one of them: he was publishing the long-deceased Gnosis magazine and writing about Freemasonry before I started), they and many others eschew its contents because of the 'lowbrow' writing style adopted DELIBERATELY (which they don't seem to appreciate) in order to appeal to a wider audience. As a result, they risk ignorance in importance matters that have been fully and completely researched and placed here.
In a similar vein, far too often our contemporary authors have shied away from the works of Baigent & Leigh or Lomas & Knight but Kinney isn't reluctant at all to note that they are, in effect, full of beans. The honesty is VERY refreshing.
In the final analysis, this is not a 'simple' read. If you're reasonably familiar with Masonic history, you won't have too many problems (or disputes because Kinney is scrupulous in noting all sides of the story) but it may be a little tough going for those being exposed to all of this for the first time. There are, after all, only 222 pages to cover three hundred plus years of history, myth, and background for it all. Nevertheless, for anyone with a modicum of intelligence, this is absolutely a book that should be recommended. I'm VERY impressed - and believe me, that's NOT being sarcastic!
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