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As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of demand.

-- Josh Billings [Henry Wheeler Shaw]

An old principle in law holds Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus--False in one, false in all. In other words, if one of several claims is found false, then all are assumed to be false. This is a high standard--perhaps unreasonably high for men dedicated to "saving" the world from Freemasonry. It may be that their zeal has overwhelmed their sense of fair play.

Possibly a more lenient measure of truth would be better suited for anti-Masons, something like handicapping for horse races. If we adopt Falsus in quinque, falsus in omnibus, then it would take five false statements to bring all of an author's statements into question. With this relaxed standard, the lies on the cover of Rev. Shaw's book wouldn't condemn his text. Of course Rev. Shaw then would have no room for his insinuations about the cost of membership or Masonic drinking. The problem could be solved if we didn't count insinuations as out-and-out lies. Another solution would be to adopt Falsus in multis, falsus in omnibus--False in many, false in all. Then each could set his own standard for what constitutes many.

The real problem, though, is deeper than quibbling over how many lies are too many. (For most Christians, one lie is too many.) Many anti-Masons are willing to accept negative statements about Freemasonry without question. They are so zealous in their cause that they ignore normal standards of research and decency.

Revs. Carlson and Shaw, who proudly boast of their knowledge about Freemasonry, are pathetic liars. We have not bothered exposing all of their frauds because the exercise is ultimately futile. If someone is willing to overlook the lies we have catalogued, then why would they be convinced if we show them five or ten or twenty more?

Is it true what they say about Freemasonry? Absolutely not! if they say Freemasonry is a satanic cult, or if they say Masons are taught to hate Christianity, or if they say lodges are organized for sex worship. These are but a few examples of the absurd and lurid lies used by those who despise our fraternity. Their hatred is so great that they can rationalize any fantasy, fraud, or deceit to accomplish their ends.

What is true is that Freemasonry is a fraternity of God-fearing men. Masons are men who strive to be better--not better than others, but better than themselves. Lodges give Masons the opportunity to join together for friendship, to serve their neighbors through community service, and to help the less fortunate through scores of Masonic philanthropies. In 1990, American Masonic philanthropy was $525 million or $1.4 million per day, of which 58% went to the general American public.(96)

Masons believe that all men are brothers under the fatherhood of God, and Masons have agreed while in lodge not to discuss religion beyond this simple belief. Masons would agree with this definition of religion from James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: To care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

If this is what they say about Freemasonry, then it is indeed true.


96. S. Brent Morris, Masonic Philanthropies: A Tradition of Caring (Lexington, Mass. & Washington: The Supreme Councils 33, 1991), p. 17.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014