Category:Question & Answer

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Bad Fellows and Bad Masons

by Athos A. Altomonte

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I will take the chance of this message to observe a serious inconsistency, not from you but from us all, in your message.

You write: ‘...the brother masons of a specific lodge that I prefer in the respect of your Masonic communions, perhaps different....' and then: ‘...Freemasonry (I think the capital F is necessary) and its centenary sacred history...'

Well, my Friend, you have hit the nail on the head, as the saying goes, by raising the matter of the division of Masons; as I have written elsewhere, it has become ‘siblings rivalry'.

On this topic I am positive that the ‘high Masonic reasons' that broke the unity of Italian Freemasonry (adding a new negative record to the history of our country) and the ‘high Masonic reasons' that still today keep Its edges ‘well separated', are the least sacred and most unworthy for a noble destiny.

Such a massive betrayal to the Ideal can only belong to a small political party.

Therefore I'd say, and I believe you'll agree, that before boasting ridiculous initiations, calling ourselves participants to a Brotherly Chain which is not even provincial, we should all recite a ‘de profundis'; then, after a few moments of shame, we should search our soul and perhaps only afterwards, appeal to the initiatory principle trampled on by the ‘political' interests of a certain sort of Masons.

Then, maybe, we will start looking like proper Masons and less like ‘accomplices' of the ‘Bad Fellows' that killed Hiram in the shape of the Masonic unity.

Q : ‘...I dare to think that this state of things is originated by mediocrity, of which we Italians are excellent direct testimony is that the Brothers of the ‘most internationally recognized' Obediences are those that more easily distinguish between ‘Brothers' and ‘step-brothers', losing the ecumenical sense of the Brotherhood...'

A : I agree with what you say, which is the obvious Manifesto of our ‘provincial contradictions'.

Provincial because, even though we feel very international, people who look at us from the outside see us in a completely different light. A little bit like ‘pulcinella', I'd say. And I learned this at my expenses whilst I was a ‘High Manager', so to speak, of certain foreign Masonic lodges.

For decades commissions and representatives of the Italian ‘Masonic diversity' have ‘separately advocated' their legitimacy in the magisterial lobbies of ‘strong brothers', such as Americans. Their ‘brotherly gossip' that trampled on the ‘right to exist' of the other ‘fragments' of Freemasonry has certainly not helped to give an image of reliability and intelligence. Indeed, quite the contrary.

For years I have seen the backstage of ‘pilgrimages' where Italian postulants craved ‘recognitions' which were never granted to any faction precisely because they were factions and not representatives of the whole Masonic nation. But these postulants were welcomed by lenient smiles, hugs and pats on the back. This ‘brotherly cordiality' was often followed, in private, by ‘words of pity' and comments on marginal brothers , neither serious nor intelligent ones. The attitude pushed to the bitter end of ‘brothers and step-brothers' has taken our initiatory reliability to the lowest levels.

Indeed, for those who observe us from the outside, unreliability is the distinctive mark of the Italian branch; always wavering, unctuous and flattering. History is always there to remind us of this. Even if today someone would like to change our history books, this wouldn't change the political opinion that the western world (and nowadays not only that) has of us, because nobody will be able to change the history books of other nations.

Q : ‘Certain manifestations, though, have a cyclical character, I think. One day we might gather again to face a superior danger...don't you think?'

A : I cannot imagine an event, as terrible as it can be, that cannot be absorbed by our dear old art of getting along, typical ‘of' Italians.

By definition Italians are ‘good people'. We are not a revolutionary people; we'd rather adapt to any form of power, be it laic or papal, communist or fascist. Italians are in general mediocre people who prefer to adapt and not to react whenever that is possible.

E. Flaiano sharply wrote: ‘Italians are always ready to run to the rescue of the winners'.

Therefore, going back to the Freemasonry of ‘us over here', I think it's unlikely that ‘crib's' interests ( fig. easy money) can ever end up in a brotherly, therefore Masonic, solution. Indeed, too many aspects are missing; initiatory competence, inner virtues, moral strength, temperance, modesty and intelligence all form a utopian convergence. Not to mention the Ideal of superior order, which I think you refer to, which certain shop-keepers don't know at all, not even as an hypothesis.

We might expect a ‘miracle', another widely spread Italian product, but I really wouldn't know which saint could be the right one.

Q: ‘...I perfectly agree with what You say but I wonder....Are all Italians mediocre?... PS. I am close to being initiated to an Obedience that doesn't boast international recognitions...and I am honestly glad of it!'

A : Starting from the end, I can assure you that no Italian Obedience is today officially recognized by the Obediences that, historically, own Patents received from authentic Initiatory Orders . This means Obediences that have not created the documents of their own genealogy themselves and written their own history.

I don't deny that many foreign Obediences know us and talk to us; good for them, they are not guided by fools like people who here repudiates the necessity of brotherly bonds.

But between being known and being initiatorily recognized there's a huge difference!

Therefore, if any Italian Obedience boasts recognitions they are consciously lying; they can only do so when talking to incompetent or ill-informed people.

Also, to respond on the subject of our well known mediocrity, I would like you to think about the symbols that many people identify with . They have placed on their glyphs ‘bold animals' : such as the bear, the two-faced eagle, the lion.

For us Italians a prosperous woman has been chosen. This shows that the Brothers of Italy actually consider themselves more like Mummy's Boys.

And, judging from the size of the breasts, it is likely that that model fits the idea of a maternal woman who is vigilant, complacent and far too consolatory. With some exceptions, this model corresponds to the characteristics of many, far too many, of us. I'd compare it with the mortifying stereotype represented by comedians such as Alberto Sordi.

Unfortunately there's some truth in that stereotype. Italians are sometimes heroes, but more often cowards and turncoats. Although paradoxically, sometimes they manage to find their redemption in melodrama, they have a historical predisposition to barter. They often change opinion and flag; indeed, as a people of great navigators, we know well how to follow the ‘wind'.

We don't like to risk or to question ourselves. We don't like to compete. We rather prefer to beg, because authority is our father. But even more we like to be protected, because our mother has not got us used to find solutions beyond the circumference of her skirt, which is the symbol of motherly authority.

Once he grows up, though, the mummy's boy would like his mum to be replaced by his wife. Poor woman, instead of a man she finds herself taking care of an irresponsible, fussy, boring and often useless child.

Furthermore, and I say this as an extreme soldier, we are notoriously comedy soldiers. This wouldn't be so bad if we weren't also rogue politicians.

And if we are more or less than this, what's the problem? The philosophy is the same: ‘ every cockroach is beautiful in his mother's eyes '.

Nemo propheta in patria ( No man is a prophet in his own land, Note of the Translator ). But the minority of great Italians bothers all the Mummy's boys. They are illustrious and therefore must be mistreated, because with their talent they lower the national average, and we all know where this stands.

Those ‘bores' are always shown the most convenient way, viz. the door. By moving to other countries, the ‘different' ones usually obtain great success and high recognitions, even when they only start producing wine. And so Mummy's boys can save their honor, despite losing their face…

The main thing is to continue to stay within the national average, among the best of the third world.


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This article comes from Esotericism Readings

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