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NOT A MASON!

Here's the story that's being passed all around the internet. You'll find it on the websites maintained by rabid Masonophobes (those who have an unnatural fear of Freemasonry) but, curiously, nowhere else - except, perhaps, on the blog of an overly-eager but gullible Mason. READ BELOW FOR THE FACTS!!!

Obama criticizes opponents' Iraq votes
By JASON CLAYWORTH
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

"One of their most famous members, and also a 32nd degree Prince Hall Mason, became a US presidential candidate for 2008. His name is Barack Hussein Obama."

December 28, 2007

Holly McQueen/The Register
Barack Obama, speaking at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Des Moines on Thursday, criticized other Democrats’ votes to authorize the war in Iraq.

Written by Dzenan Causevic

Prince Hall is a first black masonic lodge in the US, named by its founder and master who was the most famous black individual in the Boston area during the American Revolution and through the turn of the nineteenth century.

Prince Hall was the slave of a Boston leather-dresser named William Hall in the late 1740s, who earned his freedom on April 9, 1770, as reward for 21 years of steadfast service. Prince Hall and 14 other free black men, in and around Boston area, approached a British army lodge of Freemasons attached to the 38th Foot Regiment, stationed near Boston. Hall and the others were initiated into the lodge on March 6, 1775. The regiment withdrew from the area a short time later, and Sergeant John Batt, who had been in charge of the initiation, issued a limited permit on March 17 allowing the group certain Masonic privileges as well as permission to meet as a lodge.

On July 3, 1775, the group formed African Lodge No. 1, the first lodge of black Free and Accepted Masons in the world, and Hall was made master. Provincial Grand Master of North America John Rowe granted the lodge a second limited permit to continue their activities.

However, black masonry remained separate from white masonry in the United States, because white masons did not freely accept their black counterparts, despite their claims to fraternity. Hall spread his organization to other cities, but since he was confined to the black population, those newly emerged lodges were called black lodges.

On June 24, 1797, a second black lodge was chartered in Providence, Rhode Island. A year later, a third one was started in Philadelphia, with Absalom Jones as worshipful master. Prince Hall died in Boston on December 4, 1807. Funeral rites, in accord with masonic rites, were performed at his home in Lendell's Lane one week later. He was buried in the 59th Street Mathews Cemetery, Boston, in late March, 1808. Within a year of his death, Hall's followers renamed their order for their former leader.

This highly secretive society continued to grow in the United States, but remained separate from white masonry until the present days.

Today, Prince Hall is a masonic fraternal order whose buildings are clearly marked, members readily identify themselves with rings, bumper stickers, and lapel pins. One of their most famous members, and also a 32nd degree Prince Hall Mason, became a US presidential candidate for 2008. His name is Barack Hussein Obama.

Sources

Foner, Philip S., ed. The Voice of Black America. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.

Kaplan, Sidney. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution 1770--1800. Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1973.

Logan, Rayford W., and Michael R. Winston, eds. Dictionary of American Negro Biography. New York: Norton, 1982.

Salzman, Jack, David Lionel Smith, and Cornel West, eds. Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA/Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1996.

http://www.sarajevo-x.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36907


The Fabricated News Story

The ostensible news story ostensibly involving the Des Moines Register, Iowa, USA, makes NO mention whatsoever of Mr. Obama being a Mason. NONE. NADA. ZIP. You, like me, can - for only $2.95 USD chargeable to your credit card - get the actual copy of the REAL article, not the one being passed around in e-mails (albeit without the photo taken by their photographer, Holly McQueen since none of their articles are stored with the photos which they sell separately) by simply clicking this search link we created for the Des Moines Register web site. In fact, NONE of that article written by the Register's reporter Jayson Clayworth appears above. None of it!!!!! The CAPTION that appeared with the photo taken by Ms. McQueen for that article is what's cited as "Holly McQueen/The Register    Barack Obama, speaking at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Des Moines on Thursday, criticized other Democrats’ votes to authorize the war in Iraq." Neither Mr. Clayworth nor Ms. McQueen wrote the line about Mr. Obama being a Mason. That was simply a repetition of the line that's explained later in this farce and comes from, of all things, an online forum about Sarajevo, Serbia.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Des Moines, Iowa, was rented as a public facility for a political rally for presidential candidate Obama. The building is regularly rented for numerous functions including political announcements, weddings, balls, Christmas events etc. It is one of the ways they pay their bills. Nothing more, nothing less. You don't have to have any connection with Freemasonry whatsoever to rent the Center: there is no 'litmus' test of any kind. Pay your money, sign the appropriate forms certifying insurance coverage and away you go. The use of this facility for an Obama campaign stop had NOTHING to do with a contrived membership in Freemasonry any more than Mr. Obama talking to a group in a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall would make him (and all of those attending) a foreign war vet and member of their organization or that his talking to people at a state fair would make him a member of the Fair Committee (although most presidential candidates can get to go sample the apple pie which we think is certainly a big plus!)

From Bosnia with love....

On May 6, 2007, a post was made - in English (activated link appears in the story above) - to a discussion forum centered around Sarajevo, the capital city and largest urban center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's that part above starting with the words "Written by Dzenan Causevic". There were only four replies to that post: three of them were made in Bosnian that day and one the next, a simple link. It pointed to a web page which was translated into English with a story about Mr. Obama's name and the difficulties it had presented for him in his attempt to become President of the United States. There have been NO subsequent posts in over a year.

Who is Dzenan Causevic, the ostensible author? Hard to tell and - since there are no facts to support the claim - likely irrelevant. The most common Google hits point to a 'software web developer' in Syracuse, New York. E-mail sent to him has bounced but searching for the poster's identity is simply a diversion.

What does the post say? Well, if you read it starting BELOW Mr. Causevic's name, you'll note that it is a lengthy discourse (with some poor English, unlike the other postings found on the web from the literate Mr. Causevic from Syracuse). The very last line adds "One of their most famous members, and also a 32nd degree Prince Hall Mason, became a US presidential candidate for 2008. His name is Barack Hussein Obama." Then, below that, there are four source books, NONE of which contain Mr. Obama's name. In fact, two were written when he was 12 years old or under (hardly a 'voice of Black America' or a 'Black Presence' back then). Mr. Obama was born in August, 1961. A third reference was written when he was 20 years old and had not even graduated from college - and would have been ineligible for Masonic membership in any Prince Hall jurisdiction due to his age. The fourth book, one might be tempted to conclude, was where things were found about Mr. Obama, right? Not so! Published in 1998, it is actually a compendium of items published in an earlier 5 volume set - and no, he's not mentioned in it regardless. Thus, the so-called 'sources' are not sources after all - except insofar as they provided information about Prince Hall - irrelevant to this claim involving Mr. Obama.

If he's Black, he must be a Prince Hall Mason, right?

WRONG! Take a look - critically - at the story once again. Like all urban myths, it blends facts (that Mr. Obama spoke at a building owned by Masons and a history of Prince Hall Freemasonry) in a jumble of unrelated things: a news story that makes no mention of Mr. Obama being a Mason along with a post in English on a Bosnian-language forum. Not realizing that there just might be one or two Prince Hall Masons from Chicago who would know about such things as well-known (then, locally) figures who were members, the story continues around. However, a LONG-time friend and Brother who has been active online for many years and who is a past Grand Lodge officer for the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F&AM, State of Illinois was asked - in 2008 - whether Mr. Obama was or might have been a member of their organization. His answer? "No."

Deja Vu all over again

Just as has been done with all United States Presidents during at least the past 30 years, assertions are made that the man elected is a Mason - always without ANY evidence whatsoever. Masonophobes (people who have an irrational fear of Freemasonry) - especially those whose political ideologies differ from the person elected - roll out whatever thin thread of evidence they can to make the gullible believe that Freemasonry is at the root of all evil. It was done with Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43), and now President Obama. This time, though, it's being accepted unquestioningly by many Masons including at least one Canadian Grand Master who has - sadly - been stating this publicly. We hope that someone will correct him in the very near future but frankly, the damage is done and the story will continue to spread.

Seriously: do you think that the 51 Prince Hall Grand Lodges and all of their members would completely ignore this if it were true? Do you think they could HIDE it?

Do you really think that someone posting to a Bosnian website is the ONLY person in the world who knew this - if it were true? Or that every Mason who knew was so very sure that Mr. Obama - while he was a US Senator or before - would some day become the first Black President of the United States and so had to keep his membership a secret for some nefarious purpose?

Folks, if you believe that Mr. Obama IS a Mason - Prince Hall or otherwise, can you PLEASE provide ONE SINGLE SHRED OF EVIDENCE?

Please: STOP THE STUPIDITY and either provide a factual affirmation of membership or tell your friends that 'it just ain't so!'

Freemasonry Watch (a/k/a "Watchy") shows stupidity and more....

Wanting to garner more page views for his pathetic web site and get back some of the fleeting attention he once had (plus eke out a living from online ad commissions) , the individual in Canada hiding behind the 'Freemasonry Watch' moniker continues to pound away with his typical brand of deceit and has been particularly active in attempting to 'prove' that President Obama (as well as every other world leader) is a Mason. How does he know all this? Sitting in his house in Vancouver, Canada, he watches both television and YouTube videos to see how people shake hands. (This is probably quite fascinating to him and it would point to an absence of him ever doing it himself.) Everyone, in his view, uses a "Masonic handshake" and he'll happily provide you with all sorts of clips with specific times etc. PROVING this. Ignoring all other facts (including the thousands of handshakes he fails to see these folks making the rest of any given day), he selects one very subjective incident and draws a conclusion using his assumption of how a Masonic handshake is given gained from his reading of various century-old exposes. Everyone who comes to his attention, including the Pope who has been very much against Freemasonry, is a Mason - at least in his mind. Although Canadian, he is obsessed with American politics and this extends to Mr. Obama. While before he had exhibited many strange tendencies, his obsessive compulsions over Freemasonry are now moving in a more fevered pitch.

In his blog on February 19, 2009, for example, he points to a 2007 message from - yeah, nobody would have expected THIS, would they? - yet ANOTHER anonymous poster to a hyper-conspiracy website's discussion board where the hidden identity of "PrinceHall06" claims to have sat in lodge with Mr. Obama. Curiously, this is the ONLY 'identity' (real or pseudonym) who has EVER made such a claim. In the world of conspiracy theorists, however, the fact that dozens, perhaps hundreds of individuals would have sat in lodge with any given Mason, particularly in a large area like Chicago or Boston, just PROVES that there is a secret that's being kept because those people aren't 'admitting to it'. Not a Mason? Heck, that's inconceivable to those whose lives are so absent any real meaning that they obsess over this stuff.

In fact, just a couple of messages earlier in that same thread, another person proclaimed that Mr. Obama was a Martinist (an organization that has some parallels with Freemasonry but is far more religiously-oriented and far more secretive). Hey, it's SO easy when you're an unknown pseudonym to make such a claim - and they've been made for the previous eight years about George Bush, and before that about Bill Clinton, and before that.... The list just goes on and on - all without proof.

Of course, the particularly noxious - and stupid - part of Freemasonry Watch's attack - again, likely motivated by his already proven racist stance and irrelevant to him in Canada about which he rarely writes because Americans likely wouldn't care and the Canadians already think him a nut-case - contains three pictures, not one of which shows President Obama. Instead, they all show the only Black US Senator, Roland Burris, whose ascent to office came amidst political scandal in his home state of Illinois and who has announced that he will not stand for reelection as a result. Apparently to "Freemasonry Watch", all men of color are just the same. (He has noted that about Asians previously.) That, and that alone, should be sufficient to discredit his slimy attempt to garner attention. We were going to suggest that he should stick to solving the Kennedy assassination but then remembered that he had proudly proclaimed many, many times that he's already done that - and denigrated anyone who laughed at his assumptions. Amazing how a loner in Canada with no apparent education or contacts can be SO damn smart, isn't it? Our expose of his other bizarre behaviors is here.

Circumstantial Proof

We regularly get messages pointing out that some famous person has used a "Masonic handshake" or a "Masonic handsign". To the person sending the message - with no experience in giving or receiving such things but merely having read about them in a centuries old ritual exposure - there's a sure and steadfast believe that the person they saw is a Mason. We've always said that this isn't proof at all since such physical movements are, even if identical (which they never are), a fluke. No Mason would use something so visible with cameras snapping - and besides: why bother with a handshake if you and some other 'mover and shaker' are getting together. If they had a reason to think the other person was a Mason, they'd ASK. No need to stand on one leg, rub your belly, etc.

HOWEVER, in the case of President Obama, an observant Mason has drawn some conclusions from what he saw in a video - and we agree fully with his conclusion. He noted that the governmental swearing-in ceremony is not unlike - in many ways - the ceremony that any Mason undergoes THREE TIMES! Consider:

If you watched the " swearing in " ceremonies of Mr. Obama's White House staff at the beginning of his presidency it was painfully obvious that he was completely unfamiliar with this kind of protocol.

Perhaps it's not a strong argument but I believe that people tend to do what they know. If you look at the founding fathers, many of whom were Freemasons, you can recognize how some of the Masonic structures & forms carried over into this new form of government that they were creating. Some of those forms have continued to this day.

That's not to say that an oath of office was unique to Freemasonry. It just seems to me that it would be second nature for someone of presidential stature, and familiar with the craft, to administer a governmental oath of office to his staff.

It's true. Any Mason attending both his own and 1-2 degrees done on others would feel VERY comfortable receiving or administering an oath or obligation. Thanks to Brother Chris Robbins for this insightful information. Makes a LOT of sense - particularly to this Mason!

How to tell if someone is a Freemason

There's a truly great piece here which will help you with this vexing problem. Check it out!

Got a question about someone else? Drop us a note and we'll do our best to check it out for you....

This page created January 31, 2009 and updated February 23, May 27, 2009 with a link added just above here on 6 April 2010.
 

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