Delusions of Grandeur
Most Masons are blissfully unaware of the minuscule pockets of hatred and jealousy which seem a hallmark anti-Masonic activity today. Sometimes, when a Mason first encounters the manifestations of these emotions (which are totally unintelligible to them), they may joke, saying: "What's the matter? Did a Mason back up over your cat in the driveway or something?" to highlight a possibly bizarre explanation for such ill-mannered and deceitful behavior.
"St. John the Sublime Reformer" who appeared on the Usenet newsgroup alt.freemasonry was just such a poster. In one of his first posts - and as he was attempting to create a facade (quickly dropped) that he was not an anti-Mason - he commented that he would bring about the downfall of Freemasonry. His behavior is instructive in the antics and lies of anti-Masonry.
Taking carefully selected messages which he believed would reflect poorly on Freemasonry or messages which contained what he thought was 'inflammatory material', he would regularly cross-post to multiple unrelated newsgroups. Although alt.freemasonry "regulars" generally agree that those who attack Freemasonry anonymously can be easily recognized by the general public as simple provocateurs and troublemakers, the bombastic repetition of this particular individual's charges gave us cause to provide a more full response to several of his more ludicrous claims lest that repetition (often met with bored silence or short rejoinders by Masons and others) be misinterpreted as being acceptance of his wild and uninformed theories.
The person who wanted to be thought of as a "Reformer" pursued his campaign against Freemasonry apparently because of a perceived slight by a Mason or Masons whom he described as "political bigwigs" but whom are identified as simply be a candidate for local political office (along with his campaign manager) in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Because both were Masons, the "Saint" apparently decided that one of the organizations to which the candidate belonged (Freemasonry) was evil and must be destroyed! (Yes, we know it doesn't make any sense that someone would single Masonry yet not condemn Rotary, Elks, or other organizations but then again, Anti-Masonry rarely does make sense when you think about it objectively.)
As he pursued his attempts to single-handedly achieve that destruction, he resorted to lying, intimidation, profanity, forging newsgroup posts, and more. Soon after his first appearances on the alt.freemasonry newsgroup, he assumed the moniker of "St. John the Sublime Reformer" signing with the additional tag line of "Masonic Historian and Researcher". Anyone who bothered to read his typically huge posts (which print out as anywhere from 10 to 30 pages of single-spaced 10point Arial type and are filled with massive amounts of useless requotes) could quickly gather, though, that he was neither a Saint, nor sublime, nor a reformer in any sense of the word (unless one considers the Mongolian hordes who pillaged their way to power as "reformers"). He was, in fact, so far removed from being a "Masonic Historian", it was laughable. After his early online appearances, he dropped the "Researcher" part of his signature: perhaps it was clear even to him that his "research" consisted of nothing but blustering, foolish posts to numerous unrelated internet newsgroups.
When asked about his "name" at one point, he claimed that it was used only to taunt the Masons; later, when questioned again, he replied angrily than there were many people who had "Saint" as part of their surname (attempting to insinuate - but never directly saying - that it was part of his). The truth? Judge for yourself in the context of his lies and bombast, only a small portion of which is recounted here. All because of an apparent (and apparently justified) snub by a couple of Masons!!!! When you read about his racist ideas on immigration here, you'll understand why too!
Since being exposed as a racist in early 2000, the self-created "Saint" has disappeared never to be seen again. One might be initially surprised that someone who had clearly put so much effort into defaming Freemasonry would 'give up' that easily.
Of course, in the wacky world of anti-Masonry, things are never what they seem and we now have a hidden identity which has created a website titled "Freemasonry Watch" that - strangely enough - seems to mirror not only the same tired rhetoric of the "Saint" but the speech pattern as well. How curious.... You can read about the heir apparent right here.
Perhaps most well known to 'regulars' on alt.freemasonry was the now infamous "New York Times" claim. During the late spring and early summer of 1999, the self-created "Saint" made a concerted effort to portray Albert Pike (who, until his death 109 years ago, was the leader of the Southern United States' Scottish Rite bodies) as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan.
Consciously ignoring the fact that the Klan in existence today is NOT the Klan which existed for a few brief years during Pike's lifetime and was then disbanded, and also consciously ignoring the fact that there is no primary proof whatsoever which ties Pike in any way to the original Klan, the "Saint" made numerous accusations of a close association of Freemasonry and the (today's) Klan. His loss of credibility as each ludicrous charge was rebutted caused him to make (and, to this very day, regularly repeat) a claim that the Klan was a collateral body in New York Freemasonry and that only in 1944 did they sever those ties. (*)
Masons reading this claim when it was first made were aghast! Could this really be so? The "Saint" in subsequent messages repeated the charge again and again. He wrote that the reason he'd even remembered the date was because he'd been looking at pictures of the D-Day invasion in the NY Times where he read of this. His charge - as even the most outrageous claims of anti-Masons sometimes do - had the air of apparent authority and although Masons (especially those in New York) claimed they'd never heard of such a thing, the "Saint" persisted, berating those who refused to believe him and, in fact, even taunting Masons to look it up for themselves, providing ever-increasing snippets of details. For several days and in dozens of posts, he strutted and postured about this supposed New York Times article.
After all of his braying, it's almost beyond comprehension to imagine that he couldn't anticipate that someone would actually attempt to verify this. But someone did... yours truly! A trip to the local library and a short while perusing microfilm revealed.... you guessed it: NOTHING! Nothing of the sort. What was found, however, was even more interesting. Read on....
When reporting to alt.freemasonry the results of my research, the "Saint" seemed flabbergasted. First came the breathless accusations that I'd missed it. This was followed by angry and belligerent charges that I was lying to cover up. Finally, with virtually everyone (Masons and non-Masons alike) writing "You lied! Admit it!", he swore that he'd produce that article for all to see. Did he really believe this was what he'd read or was it just his inability to accept that he'd been caught in a bald-faced and audacious lie by those whom he so dearly wanted to defame? Did I need to return to the library to recheck? How could he bleat so confidently if this were nothing but a lie? It had not been, however, the first time the self-created "Saint" had bobbed and weaved to avoid a sticky situation of his own creation; no, there was no need whatsoever to re-visit the library. It was a lie, plainly and simply.
Time passed while the "Saint" attempted to 'divert the discourse' to other topics; 'regular' readers of the alt.freemasonry newsgroup, however, continued to press for the proof of his audacious claim. His original excuse for not producing the date and page was that his library was open only for shortened hours during during the summer and that he had more important things to do. As the calls for confession of lying continued however, he was driven to 'put up or shut up'. Well, he 'put up' - but only in his mind did he provide convincing proof. During that time too, other Masons replicated my research, one even questioning the Librarian for the Library of the Grand Lodge of New York hoping to figure out what piece of misinformation could have triggered his bizarre claim. In fact, there was NOTHING.
Was there such an article? No, of course not! Almost surprisingly, the "Saint" did not claim that the sneaky Masons have been tampering with rolls of microfilm around the world but he has bleated about his being right - while still not producing the information enabling anyone to find the imagined article. Not wanting to give an inch (and never willing to admit that his ludicrous condemnations of Freemasonry are created from thin air), the "Saint" then - following an apparently lengthy trip to the library - confidently referred to several New York Times articles about racial tension, several articles which made references to the Klan, and three articles which were about the Masons.
The connection between them? In the strange mind of the self-created "Saint", there apparently was one - even though Freemasonry and the Klan were never once mentioned in the same article in the three months worth of news articles he cited (May through July, 1944). He argued - perhaps thinking it persuasive - that the New York Supreme Court was handling certain cases dealing with racial matters and the newly elected Grand Master of New York was one (of 7) Supreme Court judges ---- so THERE! THAT proved beyond all reasonable doubt (apparently to him at least) that the Klan was a collateral body in New York Freemasonry.
As the peals of laughter subsided, he added another message indicating that the very specific article about which he'd written so passionately must have just been overlooked; he'd find it on his next trip to the library! (But wait: didn't those other articles suffice? Guess not....)
The "Saint" went further - and to great length - to berate yours truly for not having found these articles and placed particular emphasis on one which appeared in the May, 1944 New York Times (reporting on the election of the Grand Master) and another which appeared on June 5th which reported the appointment of the Grand Lodge line for the ensuing term. We'd naively always thought that May, 1944 and June 5th came BEFORE June 6, 1944 (when D-Day occurred) and it never crossed our mind that May, 1944 or June 5, 1944 came in the middle of June during 1944 OR that the "Saint" might have seen pictures of D-Day in a May, 1944 New York Times, days or weeks before it happened.
Nowhere at all was there an article in the New York Times indicating that the Grand Lodge of New York broke a (non-existent) connection with the Klan, notwithstanding the fact that the self-created "Saint" had looked in vain through THREE FULL MONTHS of the New York Times trying to find it. Until his departure from posting (clearly having lost the 'battle' and having been 'outed' in his racism), he held steadfastly to the lame excuse that he'd probably simply overlooked it - and regularly made the charge that yours truly had actually found the article but was withholding the information to that effect (even though he himself couldn't locate it!).
By late summer 1999, the lies and deceit shown so vividly in the 'NY Times' debacle clung to all of the other wild assertions made by the "Saint" and he had become the laughing stock of not only alt.freemasonry but of the many other newsgroups to which he cross-posts much of his material, hoping in vain to garner sympathy for his anti-Masonic stance. In fact, a standard rejoinder to any of his posts had become "And where is that New York Times article you were going to find?". Clearly infuriated, he wrote in an off-hand response to a couple of posters that he'd actually found the article but that they'd have to wait for his book. Yeah, right....
Often too, he'd reply that those who'd regularly remind him that "We're waiting...." should look where he told them - continually expecting people to prove that something doesn't exist when he said it does! Just another day with a typically-deluded anti-Mason!
Sad, really, to think that one person with such hatred cannot even see how blinded he became to basic honesty as he belligerently pursued his course of defamation claiming that it's the Masons who're liars and not himself.
As an example of the delusions he attempted to foister on the unsuspecting, the self-created "Saint" thinks that no one can get books about Freemasonry except Masons. In one message he wrote:
(Pssstttt: don't tell anyone, "Saint", but we'll give you a little clue: try Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any of the dozens of online booksellers. Try visiting a local Chapters, Borders, or some other store rather than just fantasizing. Better yet, head to the library and try using the word "Mason" or "Freemasonry" this time instead of just spraying spittle on the library staff as you attempt to show your feelings! Oh, and PLEASE don't 'borrow' the books indefinitely similar to what happened to Fleming's book about the KKK which mysteriously vanished from the public library there in Vancouver - your home city - just after you began ranting about Pike's affiliation and were being challenged on your sources. Yeah, maybe that was just a coincidence.... It had rested quietly on the shelves there for 80 years but it was sheer happenstance that it was stolen at the exact same time when you were being castigated for your lack of knowledge of Pike and the KKK. Funny too that you started quoting out of that very book at that time as well. Hmmmm.... All coincidence, it would appear.)
All claims made by the "Saint" were presented with great gusto and much bluster. The posturing and spewed venom exhibited a person filled with hatred and loathing for his fellow-man; Freemasonry was just one of his targets. During September, 1999, the "Saint" began an internet rant against legal immigration into Canada via a web site he'd created (it's not active as of June 10, 2000 - disappearing coincidentally with the 'Saint's' return from a 120 day absence from posting). One of the first people to comment on it called attention to the Canadian government's charge that many racists in Canada use the immigration issue to mainstream their hatred; based on the attacks on Freemasons and Freemasonry by this self-created "Saint", one could quite easily conclude that this charge fits nicely. (In fact, you can read the comments that his 'announcing' of his anti-immigration site garnered right here. Others clearly saw him for what he was as well it would appear! Curiously, and despite proof to the contrary, the self-created "Saint" claimed that the web site involved was not his. Of course, based on his prior lies, such a claim could not be taken at face value - and we've provided incontrovertible proof as shown by usenet messages that the creator of the site and the self-created "Saint" are one and the same right here!)
During his time on the alt.freemasonry newsgroup, the "Saint" appeared to harbor a great hated for Jews, particularly Jews who would post material which showed his impotence clearly. The strong emotions are shown in many of his internet posts, particularly those in which he 'baited' a learned and exceptional Mason, Dr. Roger Firestone, Ph.D.
Further, the self-created "Saint" took particular notice of the fact that our web site contains a link to the B'nai B'rith. Because we link to them, he asserted, we must be members and 'lackeys' of that organization (and he further expressed considerable paranoia about this self-imagined 'fact', voicing a fear that the B'nai B'rith might deprive him of his freedom of speech!) Flailing about with long-discredited anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic rhetoric, it was quite clear that this individual is full of hatred for mankind. His attempts at credibility make him even more the fool.
(*) Posting of "St. John The Sublime Reformer" of Sunday, 27 June 1999 05:19:36GMT.
"I'll restate the "proof" I have
already given that the KKK was a offically <sic> recognized masonic concordant body up
until at least the 1940's in the Northern U.S., and likely much later in the
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