The Christchurch Quake Conspiracy (plural) – Part Five – Falling and Free Masonry

Would you believe that there was a conspiracy to sell more lingerie behind the earthquake? No, nor would I, and this article doesn’t even suggest it (even though it does suggest the two are causally related). Still, if I were the writer behind the Bob Parker website, I’d be including it in the narrative.

The Eye in the Pyramid in the Field (in Christchurch)

Freemasonic plots are not common (as far as I’ve found in my reading of the local literature) in the conspiracy theories of Aotearoa. We don’t really do the “fear of what those ancient and secret societies are up to” thing; we just tend to think that the members of such fraternal orders are bit sad1. However, someone in Christchurch, writing in to The Press2, thinks that there is something suspicious about the quake and the devastation it has caused to certain Masonic landmarks:

Thanks for the schematic of the epicentre. My attention was instantly drawn to the eye at the apex of a perfectly pyramidical paddock, itself part of a larger equilateral triangle formed by Kivers (Covers), Grange and Aylesbury roads.

Given that the eye in the pyramid is a classic Masonic symbol, it is strangely coincidental that much of what was destroyed in the quake involved the work of masons, my great-great-grandfather, William Brassington, chief among them.

As my Christchurch-based correspondent wrote:

Although I … [PROFESSION REDACTED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT] make some sort of living decoding visual images, clearly it didn’t make such a profound impression on me as on the letter-writer, who is probably contacting Dan Brown with urgent new information as we speak.

Another example of this comes out from Clare Swinney. She writes:

The first earthquake report, which was numbered: 3366146/G, stated that the focal depth was 33 km and the magnitude was 7.4 on the Richter scale. Consider that 7 + 4 = 11 and that the numbers 33 and 11 are of pivotal importance to the highest echelons of the Freemasons.

The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry consists of 33 degrees and 11, 22, and 33 are deemed Master Numbers, numbers worshipped to empower them in their bizarre quest to destroy humanity.

Those evil Scottish Freemasons (whose natural home is Dunedin, which is the enemy of good old Christchurch3). Anyway, Swinney goes on, making supposition after conjecture after, well, whatever passes for argumentation in her world, finally saying:

I have yet to find hard evidence to substantiate this. I will let you know if I do.4

Still, it gets better, trust me.

Obligatory “The Big Lebowski” Reference

Let me return to that letter to the editor of the Press. He finishes with the following classic flourish:

Christ said he would build his assembly upon a rock. Paradoxically, our city, ostensibly named for him, is built on sand, shingle and swamp – and some deeply concealed faults.

The religious angle on the Earthquake is interesting; a fair number of right-wing commentators in the States have either lamented that a place named after the Church of Christ might be destroyed in a quake (which is how a lot of people overseas seem to be reading our natural disaster) or claim that the people of Christchurch deserved it because they had the hubris to name their city after the Lord Someone’s God, who would appear to be a vengeful spirit who really only likes hypocrites and Conservatives. Or something; the dialectic about god-induced natural disasters is all very confusing and it tends to boil down to two things.

1) Can we find some (any) transgression by the locals to blame the disaster upon, and

2) Are we such complete arseholes that we’re willing to tell the victims, who are already suffering, that they deserve to suffer because they did (or, in most cases, where alleged to do) something we’re not comfortable with.

I suspect what this proves is also twofold.

1) (Some) Religiously-minded people are incredibly vindictive, and

2) The god (or the gods), that they hold so high, obviously sub-contract out these matters to incompetents (since some of the faithful always seem to get hurt in the process), which is why:

a) We really shouldn’t worship such entities if they aren’t going to bother to micro-manage (it is their job, for god’s sake5), and

b) Perhaps this suggests that the natural disasters weren’t induced by supernatural agency after-all.

That, one would hope, pretty much wraps it up for god (or the gods). Still, the religious angle is being played out elsewhere in our own conspiracy theoretic blogosophere. Over at Issues That Matter Most one post starts:

“The NZ CHRISTCHURCH earthquake is definitely a sign from God to the CHURCH OF CHRIST. The time 4:35 AM has been mentioned several times by the doves. However, no one seems to notice the coordinates: 43.55°S, 172.18°E (link). The number 435 is in the coordinates as well — 43.55°S! What is more, 29 cubits is 43.5 feet — a direct link to NOAH and our ESCAPE at the rapture !!!!!! The remaining digit 5 & the number 172.18 form two numbers that suggest HARPAZO (518 Greek gematria, from amalgam of digit 5 and .18°; link) on the 17th day of the 2nd month (from 172°) !

The local time 4:35 AM is 16:35 universal time. GET THIS RIGHT: It is 7 hours 26th minute from MIDNIGHT (G726 is HARPAZO) !!!!!!

Now, weird numbers, simple ciphers and symbolic architecture is really the play set of a certain class of conspiracy theorist. They “see” much more by the way of connection between events in the world, the landscape that makes up the world and a number of arbitrary features that exist in between. If there is a class of conspiracy theorist I do not understand, it is this kind, who I call the cabalist.

It is hard to know where to start a critique of this kind of conspiracy theorising. The use of numbers is, of course, meaningless; you can select and manipulate the names and symbols used in Numerology to get the right values and the values themselves only have particular import if you have already arbitrarily assigned meaning to them. As for finding meaning in architecture… Well, whilst it marks for best-selling pieces of fiction, in the real world sometimes a Square and Compass motif on a building usually just tells you who designed (or built) it, rather than revealing some hidden and sinister history.

Next time: It was written in the stars; the Astrology of the Christchurch Earthquake of September 4th.

Notes

  1. Sorry, guys, but it’s true. Your secret societies, your robes and your wacky handshakes aren’t going to get you into the parties you’d like to be going to.
  2. One of my bugbears, as a researcher, is that newspapers do not publish “Letters to the Editor” online, so I’d like to give a very special shout out to a friend down in Christchurch who goes out of her way to provide me with pieces like the following tidbit. Cher, mi’dear.
  3. Well, so I imagine.
  4. She’s talking about evidence for Tesla’s rumoured earthquake machinery, but, really, it applies to the entire screed.
  5. Oh, my comedy instinct is really running on empty at the moment.

The Dentith Files – Satanic Albany

Between 2008 and 2010, Matthew Dentith first joined 95bFM’s Simon Pound, then José Barbosa, on Sunday mornings to talk about conspiracy theories. Listen, as they say, again!

Another fortnight, another Conspiracy Theory. Next time I’m hoping to present an interview with Dr. Charles Pigden (of the University of Otago). It’ll be a pre-record so I will be able to sit at home and listen to myself. I might then walk around the house declaring myself to be finally bilocal. My (potential) new flatmates might then start advertising for a replacement me. If I’m truly bilocal I’ll be able to apply.

Anyway, here be the notes on the Freemasons, Satanists and Albany. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be this humourous.

[Link to be put up when bFM updates its MP3 streams.]

The Notes:

The claims:

1. Albany City is being built in the shape of a huge Masonic/occult symbol.

2. Its streets are named after Satanic authors and occult practices.

3. Auckland City and North Shore City’s logos are of Masonic design.

4. The governance of the Auckland Region is in the control of a secret society (the Masons-cum-Satanists).

Claim One: Albany is being redeveloped in the shape of the Masonic Symbol ‘The Eye of Providence.’

Here’s the Eye of Providence, a common enough Masonic Symbol (as seen on the American dollar bill):

The Eye of Providence (as seen on the American dollar bill)

Here’s the Albany masterplan:

Albany city plan mock-up

Now, I will admit that you can, kind of, see the Eye shape and a triangle above it, which makes it look a little Eye of Providency, but then again, what does that really mean or signify? We see patterns and thus it’s easy to find the Eye of Providence if that is what you are looking for.

In Belmont/Bayswater, two neighbouring suburbs also on the North Shore, there is a set of streets in the shape of a Hammer and Sickle, a Communist symbol.

Bayswater\'s Hammer and Sickle

Rumour has it that the design came from a disgruntled city planner in the 1930s.

The kind of worry this piece of ‘worrying symbolism’ seems to relate to is the notion that we are somehow affected by the very design of the streets on which we live, work and play. Yet who is the MP for the North Shore? Yes, it’s the noted Communist Wayne Mapp.

Back to the Eye. The Eye of Providence is really a deist symbol rather than a Masonic one. It symbolises the existence of a higher power; it’s placement on the American dollar bill (which came late in the history of the USA) is a reference to the notion that God, as a general concern (not necessarily the Christian one) is the guarantor of the rights and obligations given by the Constitution. Freemasons make use of the Eye as a symbol, yes, but they aren’t the only group to do so. We should be grateful to the city planners of Albany that they want to do the same.

Claim Two: Streets are being named after sinister individuals of Masonic character.

This is just silly. The first piece of evidence is that Elliot Rose Ave is named after the author of ‘A Razor for a Goat,’ a book on satanic witchcraft. Now, ‘Razor for a Goat’ is a serious, scholarly look at the history of modern witchcraft and how it related to the pre-Christian religions of the West; it is not a how-to-do tract. Frankly, I welcome the notion that we name roads after scholars. I look forward to Dentith Way and the Matthew Dentith Terminus. Secondly, Rose is not an uncommon last name, nor Elliot an uncommon first name. I don’t know the local history, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there isn’t someone by that name who lived locally and had a lasting effect on the region.

Another piece of evidence is that one of the roads is called the Appian Way, and this is a Roman road cited in Masonic poetry. Two points; the Appian Way is cited in a lot more poetry outside supposedly masonic poetry and it is part of a (what some might say a disturbing) trend of naming streets after Roman and Greek places and people. There are lots of these on the North Shore.

Another piece of evidence: Monroe Lane is probably named after James Monroe. Probably? Not much substance there. Corban Ave. Supposedly named after a masonic phrase (actually, it’s or much earlier extraction) but possibly named after the Corbans, whose wine some of you might drink. Fairly famous family name in this country.

Oh, and let’s not forget Cornerstone Drive. Because only Freemasons use cornerstones. Whatever did the Egyptians do witthout Freemasonry to build their pyramids (of course, some anti-Freemasons claim the Egyptians were masons…).

Claim Three: The logo for Auckland the North Shore city councils are modeled after the Eye of Providence.

Well, they are both triangular., I will give them that. Possibly the triangles refer to the mass of volcanoes that litter the region, although possibly not.

Then there’s the concern about Numerology. Five stripes in NS logo. Eleven droplets on the Metrowater one… All of Masonic significance. But, of course, numerology is important to groups that predate the Masons…

Claim Four: The governance of the Auckland Region is in the control of a secret society (the Masons-cum-Satanists).

Now this is a weird one. Is John Banks a Freemason? Yes he is. Is he a Satanist? Well, given some of the publicity surrounding his return to the Auckland Mayoralty, maybe, but probably not. Is Mike Lee a Satanist?

Also, what kind of Satanist? Devil-worhsippers and goat sacrificers? Adherents to Anton La Vey? The former at least get cool robes and great workplace stories, whilst the latter are more like Libertarians-cum-Objectivists, and if it is the latter then maybe John Banks is mildly satanic, but that Satanism is quite different to Freemasonry, which is just a tad more socialistic.

There are two points here, one outrageous, the other slightly more plausible. The first is the conflation of Freemasonry and Satanism, which is an old prejudice and not really worth rehashing.

The second is the worry that our councils (and government) are filled to the brim with the members of secret societies. In Devonport, where I grew up, this was true… in the early part of the 20th century. The Freemasons, who had control of the Devonport Borough Council, tried to block the renovation of the local Catholic Church and the council minutes reflect a strong pro-Mason, anti-Catholic line. People in local communities still remember these events and so the notion that the Freemasons, the Druids and the like still have political sway continues, even though now the power and clout of these people is limited. If you’re really worried about who controls the city councils you would be far better off looking at their known political affliations…

Now, if you really are concerned about Freemasonry, Satanism and city-planning mayhem you might want to copy the following sugested submission to the Royal Commission and get your fears aired in public:

I hereby demand an Investigation by this Royal Commission into the apparent operation of Freemasons at the highest levels of local government in Auckland, specifically, but not limited to, Auckland City Council and North Shore City Council. This operation is as evidenced by:- the use of Masonic symbolism, literary references, phraseology and names in the architectural layout and street naming of Albany City, North Shore; the use of Masonic symbolism (the Eye of Providence) in the Auckland City Council and North Shore City Council’s logos; Masonic symbology on Auckland City Council’s website as at 18 April 2008.

I demand this Investigation on the basis of possible conflicts of interest for Freemasons working in local or regional government. I am concerned that their loyalty to their Fraternal Order (the few) may prove stronger than their loyalty to the people they represent (the many) – and that this could affect Local and Community future Decision Making and Accountability in government (as it appears to have affected these areas in the very recent past).

I recommend very strongly that the Commission recommends the banning of members of such fraternities and secret societies from working in Local and Regional Government in Auckland.

I voice these concerns in response to sections 31-52 of the Commission’s Calls for Submission document.

The Dentith Files – Freemasonry

Between 2008 and 2010, Matthew Dentith first joined 95bFM’s Simon Pound, then José Barbosa, on Sunday mornings to talk about conspiracy theories. Listen, as they say, again!

The Dentith Files

Today, Matthew enlightens us on the mysterious and utterly scando Stone Masons. Learn about their history and reputation for having lots of choice secrets.

Like last time, more content than we had time for, but it will lead on nicely to the next topic, the Illuminati, in two weeks time. Since there were topics we simply didn’t get on to here are the notes from today’s ‘episode’ along with an assortment of my finiest unanswered questions (now with trite and easy answers supplied, free of charge).

Freemasonry

A Potted History

The legends concerning the founding of Freemasonry are numerous. Some say it was founded by the Patriarch Lamech before the Flood, others claim Freemasonry is simply the remnants of the Roman college system, whilst others argue that the origins of Freemasonry are to be found in Egypt, or that modern Freemasons are the rightful heirs to the Templar legacy. What we do know is this. Freemasonry first appears as an organisation in ACE1717 when the Grand Lodge is founded in England. It seems to be based upon an early Scottish fraternal system for stonemasons, basically a social club for skilled stonecrafters to share trade secrets and network.

Freemasonry was but one of the many fraternal societies in the 18th Century; what made it so popular seems to have been its system of “revealed” knowledge, slowly doled out to its members through a variety of secret and mysterious rituals as the adept proceded through the three degrees of membership, the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason.

By the 19th Century it boasted eight million members. However, like many secret societies, Freemasonry split and fractured; from one English Lodge in 1717 Freemasonry split into the Egyptian Rite in 1788, the Ancient and Accepted Rite in 1802, the Scottish Rite in 1833 and more besides.

Given Freemasonry’s popularity with the growing middle-classes it soon garnered a reputation for being involved in politics and the occult (which were, admittedly, the growing concerns of the bourgeois). However, Freemasonry was, and still is (to a certain extent), merely a system of personal development… for men (some female lodges also exist, but we cannot, to paraphrase Michael Palin, escape the sexism inherent in the system). Whilst modern Freemasonry has begun to reinvent itself as a charitable organisation, the system and the rituals of initiation are meant to make Masons better men.

Which may explain why its members now number less than two million. In today’s economy Men don’t want to be better; they just want to be richer…

Questions:

Why is Freemasonry so suspicious?

Because in purportedly open societies secret organisations are de facto suspicious in their activities. Why else would they hide behind ritual, the common wisdom asks…

Why is it that there are so many songs about rainbows… sorry, that so many global Conspiracy Theories have Masons at the heart of them?

Because Freemasons have had a history of being in politics, because the Illuminati (which started out as Freemasonry) engaged in conspiratorial activities, because of the answer to the former question, because of the work of Antimasons (which can be considered both good and bad) and so forth.

What kind of knowledge is this “revealed” knowledge?

The kind of ‘knowledge’ one gets from a self-help book. But with bells, whistles and funky robes… (Plausibly, once upon a time, some of it might have been encoded mathematical secrets; for stonemasons this could have qualified as trade secrets…)

Why is Antimasonry so popular?

A good question. Probably because no one likes not knowing other peoples’ secrets. And because Freemasonry does pose a threat to other organisations that also trade on revealed knowledge or vested authority.