A secret scroll which has been hanging in a Masonic lodge for
almost three centuries is thought to be one of the most significant finds in Britain.
The Kirkwall Scroll depicting secrets of the Knight's Templars, has been carbon
dated to the 15th century, greatly increasing its significance. According to the finder -
Andrew Sinclair, a Cambridge history don - the 18ft sailcloth is said to contain ancient
symbols of great significance.
Andrew Sinclair describes the scroll in the following
"Before me was a vast cloth scroll, more than 18 feet long and 5 feet
wide, carrying a vision of the Garden of Eden so beautiful that i could hardly believe my
eyes. In faded pastel colours, a six pointed sun and a moon with a face surrounded
by seven stars shone down from the sky. Between them was a row of six mysterious symbols
that might be numerals or runes. In a strip of ocean under a mountain chain, an eel and a
fish cavorted with a whale and four other varieties of sea creatures.
On the ground were three doves, a swan, a ewe and a ram, a serpent, a maned lion and
other beasts that rang the changes from black cattle to camel. Behind all these was a
strange hermaphrodite figure,
both Adam and eve at once, under the shade of the Tree of Life, male and female were
merged into one being, in an image far removed from conventional Christianity"
"My eyes darted across the vast surface, dazzled by its
magical and heretical images. The Biblical golden calf was being worshipped on an inverted
cross. On another cross was a fiery serpent with two priests bowing down before it. Closer
examination showed that the scroll consisted of a centrepeice and two side panels. On the
central part, beneath the garden of Eden, were dozens of mystic signs and two angels
guarding the Ark of the Covenant - the casket containing the Ten Commandments on tablets
of stone. At the sides, in two strips, were primuitive maps of egypt and Palestine.
They showed the wanderings of Moses and the twelve tribes of Israel, searching for the
Promised land, and a Christian attack up the Nile during the seventh crusade.."
"It was a message resounding
across the centuries from one of the most fascinating and mysterious orders ever to bear
arms - The Knights Templars. It was a message that conveyed the hidden religious wisdom of
an heretical tradition that has been suppressed by the Church for two
this scroll, The Templars had passed on their knowledge to the Freemasons. The scroll was
the missing link between these two secret brotherhoods"
Mr. Sinclair comes from a Masonic family line and his ancestor
William St.Clair, Earl of Orkney, has been strongly associated with the legendary Knights
Templar and secret orders
All of the above statements are extracts from newspaper
reports - especially the series in the Daily Mail beginning December 9th 2000 -
giving extracts from 'The Secret Scroll' by Andrew Sinclair, published by
The spoken curses: What has been spoken in darkness is
now being shouted from the rooftops and so in recent decades Freemasonry has played around
with the ritual wording in order to escape the continual spotlight that now rests solidly
upon them, and so in recent years changes have been made to the way the blood curdling
oaths are administered to candidates.
Firstly in the early sixties the Grand Lodge changed the wording
so that the candidate was under 'the traditional penalty'.
Then in 1986 the ceremony was altered so that the candidate no
longer says the oaths himself. Instead the Lodge Master recites them in a different part
of the ceremony.
Despite these changes the outcome is the same. The Mason is still
bound into secrecy by them.
In1989 it was announced that
'JAHBULON' would soon be dropped from ENGLAND'S Royal Arch Ritual.
'Grand Scribe Ezra' Higham denied this was a response to recent
Christian condemnations. Journalists later visiting Freemason's Hall overgeard chortles
that junking JAHBULON had invalidated the book 'Inside the Brotherhood' even before it was
published. However on March 4th Clifford Longley (The Times Religious Affairs
correspondent) wrote that by replacing JAHBULON with JHVH - meaning Jahweh, the Jew's Holy
Name for God - Masonry may be falling in 'deeper waters than the Grand Lodge has yet
realised..While to invoke a false God is idolatry, to invoke the Name of the True God
falsley is blashemy'
Non-Masons now assumed that if JAHBULON was no longer in the
ritual, then Masons could at least utter this 'sacred and mysterious name' of God without
having 'their heads cut off'. Yet when England's fraternal front man was challenged to say
it on radio he refused "because I've promised not to"
A spokesman for
the Ministry of Defence has stated " A decision has been made that it is no longer
appropriate for Freemasons to meet on MoD property. In the past quite a few lodges have
met on our property - they are no longer allowed to do so"
The Defence Council Instruction says that serving personnel should not encourage or
promote membership in case it has a 'destabilising influence on the chain of command'
Michael Walker, Grand Secretary of the Grand Order of Freemasons in Ireland said
"There have been members of the Freemasons in the forces since Napoleonic times. The
Duke of Wellington - an Irishman - was himself a mason. Freemasonry is all about making a
contribution to society. If anything it would strengthen discipline within the
forces" - A Belfast Telegragh report
By Gavin Cordon and Martin Hickman, PA News / February 1998
The leadership of Britain's freemasons was today ordered by MPs to hand over the names of members involved in a series of police scandals - or face a charge of contempt of Parliament.
The Commons home affairs committee took the rare step of issuing a formal order for the release of the information after officials of the United Grand Lodge refused to give up the names at a bad-tempered hearing at Westminster.
Committee chairman, Labour MP Chris Mullin, said the lodge would have 14 days to respond once it had received formal notification of the order from the Commons
Sergeant at Arms.
"It is obvious that the powers of the committee are being challenged and we owe it to ourselves and to Parliament to rise to the occasion," he told reporters.
The lodge's librarian and communications officer John Hamill said later that it was "probable" they would comply with the committee's demands and hand over the names.
"We would not wish to be in contempt of Parliament. We are a lawful and law-abiding organisation," he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One programme.
Earlier, there were scenes of high drama in Commons Committee Room 6 as the Lodge's Grand Secretary Commander Michael Higham persistently refused to release the names, despite a warning from Mr Mullin that refusal to co-operate could place him in contempt of Parliament.
Asked for a final time if whether he would provide the information, Cmdr Higham replied: "Not straightaway, no".
He added: "I hope you will accept that is `no', but not in a contemptuous way".
Mr Mullin snapped: "That will be for Parliament to decide."
He then abruptly brought the public hearing to a close.
Mr Mullin said that they had presented the United Grand Lodge with a list of 161 names over the summer with a request to say who were
Ninety-six were former members of the West Midlands Serious Crimes Squad, which was disbanded in 1989 for corruption.
About 60 - including some journalists as well as police officers - were involved with the investigation into the IRA Birmingham pub bombings which led to the wrongful conviction of the Birmingham Six.
Seven were involved in investigating former Greater Manchester Deputy Chief Constable John Stalker, who was suspended in 1986 while conducting an inquiry into shoot-to-kill allegations against the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
During the hearing, Cmdr Higham accused MPs of conducting a "fishing expedition" and complained that the events under consideration dated back to the 1970s and 1980s.
"I rather think the whole thing is pretty academic. If it was a recent case of bad police work or a miscarriage of justice, we would be dealing with the police authority, not this committee," he said.
David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, demanded: "You are telling us to mind our own business?"
Cmdr Higham replied: "I and Freemasons generally resent what is a fishing expedition."
Mr Mullin told him sharply that 30 convictions had been overturned as a result of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad's involvement.
He said the committee had been told by police officers - including masons - that
Freemasons had operated within the squad as "firms within firms".
When Cmdr Higham complained that there still had not been any specific allegations, Mr Mullin told him: "They were holding plastic bags over people's heads in order to get confessions".
He also accused Cmdr Higham of going back on a previous assurance given last November that he would release the names on the understanding that only Mr Mullin himself and the committee's two clerks saw them.
Asked whether his impending early retirement as Grand Secretary was connected to his dealings with the committee, Cmdr Higham said: "I can't answer that one".
He told the MPs that they had identified 14 possible freemasons from a list of 96 former serious crime squad members supplied by the committee.
On further investigation, that was whittled down to 10.
Three of those, when contacted by letter, said they had never served with the squad; one had been with the squad, but said there were two other people in the squad with the same name; one became a mason only after leaving the squad; one had left the masons and moved to a new address; three had not replied to the letters; and one had confirmed he was a squad member but would only consent to his name being released if a specific allegation was made against him.
Cmdr Higham complained at the way freemasonry had been "singled out" by Home Secretary Jack Straw's decision to establish a register of masons in the criminal justice system, including judges and police.
"There is a deep sense of anger at the slur on its integrity. We know we have a few bad apples, but the majority of masons are decent chaps," he said.
He refused a request from Mr Winnick to demonstrate the secret signs by which masons recognise one another.
"I won't do it because I promised I would not," he told MPs.
He insisted that masons would not necessarily know who other masons were - even if they worked in the same police squad.
"It (the recognition sign) is not used promiscuously. You cannot see that somebody in a room is a
Freemason," he said.
"People don't stand around in strange attitudes waiting to be recognised as freemasons."