Wednesday, April 26, 2017

‘Jolly good show’

Inside the Freemasons, the Sky TV five-part documentary series being presented to television viewers in Britain on Monday nights, is available on YouTube unexpectedly. YouTuber Stewart Charlesworth promises to upload each episode after it is broadcast on television.

These films reveal a little too much, if you ask me. There are snippets of ritual that I wouldn’t think the Grand Lodge would have permitted, but there they are.

Part One, broadcast last Monday:

Part Two, from Monday:



Chris said...

We had our Lodge of Instruction last night and talked about the program at dinner beforehand. The general consensus is that on the one hand the program risked making Freemasonry into Rotarianism with funny handshakes, and on the other hand showing it as a group of people who like dressing up in aprons and gloves and memorising ritual under the sharp eye of elderly schoolmasters wielding rulers to smack at the slightest error.

Personally, I think that the first program showed us as a dining and drinking society with a bit of ritual attached to the front. For some people, the Festive Board is the most important part of the evening, and in my experience there is no better way to get a group of Brethren exercised than talking about the quality of dining at various Masonic venues.

The program itself is an effort by the highest levels of UGLE to "demystify" the Craft in the hope of attracting younger men to join. Attitudes toward Masonry in the UK have been pretty dismal, with most of the population seemingly thinking that we are a conspiracy of legal professionals to evade justice or a sinister conspiracy to run the government for the benefit of a few toffs. I doubt that this program will change many minds.

Magpie Mind said...

I think you're right about all that, although that's not how I considered it initially. To me, on first viewing, these two episodes showed Freemasons who truly love their fraternity and work hard within it. Definitely a visual emphasis on white gloves and glasses of beer, for whatever reason, but there was much realistic depiction of what commitment to lodge (and lack thereof) looks like.

I see these videos are now removed from YouTube, so I don't think I'll be able to see the rest of the series.