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Freemasonry, although it's leaders strenuously deny it, is a secret society. In England and Wales it has more than 600,000 initiates; a further 100,000 in Scotland and between 50,000 and 70,000 in Ireland. All the members of this Brotherhood are male, and all except those who are second, third, or fourth, generation Freemasons - who may join ateighteen - are over the age of twenty-one. Freemasonry's critics have described it as a business cult, a satanic religion, and a political conspiracy. Defenders of Freemasonry tell us it is nothing more than a benevolent and charitable fraternal brotherhood. The headquarters of the Brotherhood in England and Wales is in London, at the corner of Great Queen Street and Wild Street. This is the seat ofthe `United Grand Lodge of England', the governing body of the 8,000-plus Lodges in England and Wales. These Lodges, of which there are another 1,200-odd under the jurisdiction of the `Grand Lodge of Scotland' and about 750 under the `Grand Lodge of Ireland', carry out their secret business and ritual in Masonic Temples. Temples might be purpose built, or might be rooms in hotels or privatebuildings temporarily converted for Masonic use. Many town halls up and down the country, for example, have private function rooms used for Masonic rituals, as does New Scotland Yard - headquarters of the Metropolitan Police and home to the "Animal Rights National Index" (ARNI) and Special Branch. Debate about Freemasonry in the Police began in 1877 with the sensational discovery that virtually everymember of the Detective Department at Scotland Yard, up to and including the second-incommand, was in the pay of a gang of vicious swindlers. The corruption had started in 1872 when, at a Lodge meeting in Islington, John Meiklejohn - a Freemason - was introduced to a criminal called William Kurr (Kurr had then been a Freemason for some years). One night the two Masonic brothers exchanged intimacies.Kurr was operating a bogus `betting agency' swindle and was sorely in need of an accomplice within the force to warn him as and when the Detective Department had sufficient information against him to move in. Meiklejohn agreed to accept

£100.00, nearly half his annual salary, to supply information. In forces all over England, Freemasonry is strongest in the Criminal Investigation Department(CID). This had been particularly noticeable at Scotland Yard, and the situation remains the same today. Between 1969 and the settingup of the famous Operation Countryman in 1978 there were three big investigations into corruption in the Metropolitan Police. These were: (1) An enquiry into allegations of corruption and extortion by Police, first published in The Times. This resulted in the arrest,trial and imprisonment of two London detectives in 1972. An enquiry by Lancashire Police into members of the Metropolitan Police Drug Squad. This led to the trial of six detectives, and the imprisonment in 1973 of three of them. An enquiry into allegations of corruption among CID officers responsible for coping with vice and pornography in London's West End. Over twenty detectives were sacked fromthe force during the three-year investigation in the early 1970's, which led eventually to the notorious Porn Squad trials. There were corrupt Masonic Policemen involved in all these cases.



According to anti-Masonic books to be re-published, and some modern works, Freemasonry was formed and continues to work to "dupe the simple for the benefit of the crafty" (p.33, Proceedings ofthe US AntiMasonic Convention, 1830). The Freemasonic value system and organisational structure can be used to conceal both immoral and illegal acts but, its members derive benefit from the Brotherhood only so long as the status quo is maintained. Inside the Brotherhood: Further secrets of the Freemasons, by Martin Short, carries on Stephen Knight's research into modern English Freemasonry and...
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