Gruesome but not binding
(March 16th update at bottom of this article.)

The required oaths in Freemasonry appear to be gruesome. Although these oaths
may terrify some members, they may be neither legally nor morally binding.

(Instead of using quotation marks, I have highlighted the quoted text in yellow.)

Continuation of Freemasonry - Part I - Part IX

Freemasonry rolls up its trousers in public

Read the full article in The Sunday Times April 17, 2005

For the first time, a Mason has written openly about the organisation’s obscure rituals and their impact. Dr Robert Lomas explains why he’s lifted the lid on his experiences
“Get your clothes off . . . and put your watch and rings in that tray.”
“Everything?” I asked. “Is this some sort of ritual naked mugging?”
“No,” he said, his expression totally serious. “You can keep your underpants on.”

From another source, “Evangelical Truth”: This photograph shows a Freemason ready for his oath. Here is the full article, which appears to be very critical.

Secrets And Mysteries Of The Freemasons

In case you missed the hangman’s noose around the mason’s neck in the photo, this is an excerpt from a Dec. 20, 2005 article in The Zambezi Times by Sikota Wina

The candidate removes his outer clothing until he stands in socks, his left
shoe, trousers and shirt only. His shirt is unbuttoned to reveal his left
breast, his right sleeve is rolled up to reveal the elbow, his left trouser leg
is rolled up above the knee. A hangman’s noose is then placed around his neck, the end of the rope hanging down behind him. He is blindfolded as he enters the Lodge.

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IS THE MASONIC OATH ILLEGAL AND AGAINST THE PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY?

The Masonic Response: Article
June 1983 in the Masonic Trowel

“That oaths are permissible to Christians is shown by the example of
Our Lord (Mat. 26:63) and of Paul; (11 Cor. 1:23; Gal. 1:20) and even God
Himself (Heb. 6:13-18). Consequently when Christ said “Swear not at all”
(Mat. 5:34), He was laying down the principle that the Christian must not
have two standards of truth, but that his ordinary speech must be as
sacredly true as his oath. In the kingdom of God, where the principles
hold sway, oaths become unnecessary.”

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What is So Bad About Being a Mason?

article by Ed Decker, Saints Alive

How is Jesus glorified by this gruesome nonsense? Where is the gentle Savior in the concept of having one’s tongue ripped out by its roots? The Second degree involves a solemn oath to have “your breast torn open and your heart plucked out…” third degree: to have “your body severed in two and your bowels taken thence…” and seventh degree: to have your “skull smote off and …brains exposed to the meridian sun…”

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How to be RELEASED FROM YOUR Masonic OATH

http://www.emfj.org/oaths.htm

Fellow Craft Degree: “..my left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken thence, and with my body given as a prey to the vultures of the air, should I ever knowingly, or willfully, violate this, my solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft.”;

As stated in the beginning, a Masonic oath is binding, only if you allow it to be. That is your choice. Many members of the Order will tell you how awful it would be for you to betray the oaths you have taken. The Written Word of God tells you how sinful it is that they were ever taken in the first place. Now you have to ask yourself, who is right - the members of the lodge who are trying to lay a guilt trip on you, or God, who only wants you to confess your sin so that Jesus Christ may truly become your Lord and Savior?

I invite our Barbadian churches to comment on this last paragraph.


Further reading: Personal stories about the Freemasonry experience
http://altreligion.about.com/library/texts/bl_dundee.htm
http://www.macgregorministries.org/cult_groups/rite_or_wrong.html
Catholic view: Masonry, Atheism and Catholicism

UPDATE March 16, 2008: Soldier found dead after severe Freemason hazing - Today, more than two years after death, same Knights Templar Masonic group still active.
An autopsy revealed injuries
suffered by a Freemason beaten with wooden paddles in a Masonic initiation ceremony. The conclusion was that the Templar Commandery (Freemasons) were not responsible for the soldier’s death, but his mother Diana Wilder is quoted as saying, “If this is the last thing I do, I’m going to find out what happened.” Here is the timeline of the incident.Masonic paddles are currently available for purchase on the internet. In America paddles of this type are associated with either BDSM or corporal punishment in schools.paddling
Above image showing unrelated hazing is a link to: World Corporate Punishment Research

What is BDSM ? Bondage and Discipline (B&D) = BD, Dominance and Submission (D/s,) = DS, Sadism and Masochism, Sadomasochism (S/M, S&M) = SM. By putting together all of the abbreviations in a mathematical type formula, we get BD+DS+SM = BDSM.

The context of the use of the paddles in this Masonic hazing suggests that it was not a form of corporal punishment. What was the intended outcome of the paddling? Was this ceremony designed to reinforce the oaths? Do the words bondage, dominance and submission apply?

It is notable that the Knights Templar Masonic group implicated in the incident remains active. (See link below)
Craigslist Date: 2008-03-15, 8:52PM CDT

MANNHEIM, Germany — More than two years after a hazing initiation in which Army soldiers were paddled on their buttocks, the Knights Templar Masonic group that was implicated in the incident remains active, a top Knights Templar official said.