This is West Eye View's amazing video documentary Rites and Wrongs - Gloucestershire Freemasons (1999) which presents the life of freemason lodges in Gloucestershire and public concern regarding all the secrecy of members. Thousands of freemasons are under pressure to reveal their membership of the secretive organisation. They say it's an infringement of their civil rights. The government says it’s simply responding to public concern. This fascinating documentary goes behind the bricked-up windows of the Masonic temples to reveal the secrets of the craft. Why does anybody need to throw a rope around your neck and present you with a sharp blade to reinforce their obligations? The masons say that Freemasonry is not and never has been a secret society. The Masonic province of Gloucestershire, is based at Wotton-under-Edge. Richard Gillett, a retired bank official, administers an organisation of 4,500 members - grouped in 78 branches, or lodges, across the county. Gloucestershire’s Masons are the most publicity-conscious in the West, where over 17,000 men are members of 'the craft' or 'on the square.' Freemasonry and religion make for uneasy bedfellows. Masons are required to believe in a creator God, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or from any other religion. But the fact that they give him their own name – the Great Architect, or sometimes, Jahbulon - has made the churches suspicious. Pointing to the fact that Masons swear oaths and perform quasi-religious rituals in temples, church leaders have questioned whether freemasonry - rather than supporting the mainstream churches - is rather a religious cult itself. The Catholics are the masons’ most vocal opponents. The Pope’s position is that masonic principles are "irreconcilable with the doctrine of the church." Accordingly, "membership is forbidden." While "The faithful who enrol in masonic associations are in a grave state of sin and may not receive Holy Communion." The Church of England is equivocal. A working party was split between Anglican masons and non-masons. The former acknowledged the "clear difficulties to be faced by christians who are freemasons." While the non-masons saw "a number of very fundamental reasons to question the compatibility of freemasonry with christianity." However, Gloucestershire’s masons are invited to hold an annual service at Gloucester’s Anglican cathedral. Find out how public concern has made masons in public offices required to state whether they are masons or not and the controversy that followed. 25 min. long. A must see for everyone.
Video codec: divx, 640x480, 1200 bps
Audio codec: mp3, 44kHz, Stereo