Proud majority memober the girl’s counterpart to Demolay, The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. My Mother and I joined Eastern Star together. My grandfather was a Mason, grandmother was an Eastern Star, and two of my Uncles were Worshipful Masters. I was Worthy Advisor of my Assembly twice and served as Grand Patriotism for the Grand Assembly of Florida for the 91-92 session. I was also on the Board of my Assembly for several years and even served as Mother Advisor for a few years. The only reason I gave it up (and I am still involved to some degree) was to pursue my Masters.
Fraternal organizations, such as the ones mentioned above (along with Job’s Daughters), are not “secret.” Rather, they are organizations with secrets (Membership has its privileges). I know that parents/guardians of Rainbow Girls are allowed to attend meetings without being members of the Masons or Star (the added benefit that they usually join Masons or Star after seeing what their daughter is doing). I don’t know if Demolay has the same thing going on. It sounds like the gathering described by Cartooniverse is Conclave, which is the convention. There are some open functions that you could have attended, so I don’t know why you were told that it was “secret.”
The people who lead these organizations are of upstanding moral character. I know of one incident (years ago) where the Mother Advisor of an Assembly was having an affair with the Chapter Dad of a Demolay Chapter. Since they had set a poor moral example for youth, both were immediately kicked off the Boards and told not to come back.
Rainbow turned me from a shy little girl into a confident young lady. Every day I find myself remembering some lesson I learned in my 7 years as a member. IMHO, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Sorry for the hijack.
I completely understand your concern, and I commend your efforts at making sure your nephew was safe. I’m sorry you couldn’t find the reassurance you were looking for.
I in no way condone child molestation, let’s be real clear on that. But I don’t see any reason to suspect molestation in the face of no evidence. Did the boy suddenly become overtly sexual? Did he withdraw and become more shy? Was he found masturbating in a public place, or playing with the genitals of another child? Did he speak in alternating glowing tones and epithets about any older member of DeMolay? Did he refuse to go to meetings? Were his genitals, buttocks or nipples reddened, irritated or infected?
There are signs of sexual abuse if you look for them (as you should, if you have any reason to suspect abuse.) That, plus simply asking straight out “Hey, kid - is there any funny stuff going on? You know you can tell me and I won’t get all freaked out at you, right?” should alleviate your worries.
For what it’s worth, I think developmentally, it’s a good thing for a young man to have a confidante and “secrets” he’s allowed to keep from his parents. He’s entering a terrifying phase of development, where his body’s going all wonky, his brain won’t stop thinking about girls (WTF is that about? A year ago they were so annoying - now they’re awfully interesting for creatures with cooties!), he has this sudden craving for adreneline and need to take risks, he gets aggressive at the drop of a hat and over stupid shit…
I could go on, but I think you understand. I’m happy that my son has a mentor he can go to with all those questions he can’t bring himself to ask me, boy-worries he can’t articulate and share experiences with that Mom would freak the hell out if he tried on his own (fire-spinning and chopping firewood are our latest two.) Yet I know he’s safer than if he were left on his own, and he’s learning how to be the man he’s going to become.
I applaud organizations that do the same, and recognize that secrecy is part of growing up.
And, for what it’s worth, my husband, cousins, brothers and many male friends were all DeMolay boys, and none of them were ever approached inappropriately.
For what it’s worth, I think that encouraging your child to keep secrets from you with strangers who are adults is one of the single most damaging things you can tell your child it’s all right to do. It flies in the face of all logic and it is in direct conflict with the parent-child trust bond. However, since that’s what the Freemasons allow you to think, I can fully see why you don’t agree with me. I have to respect your opinion, even if it isn’t really yours of free will.
Secondly, and for what it’s worth, do you have any clue how degrading it is to anyone reading this thread who was abused as a child for you to say, " And, for what it’s worth, my husband, cousins, brothers and many male friends were all DeMolay boys, and none of them were ever approached inappropriately." ??? You’re saying that since it didn’t happen to you or yours, it cannot possibly be that it ever happens. Nice.
Thirdly and lastly, for what it’s worth, I noticed that you quoted me in your post- and yet did not in fact address the concern you quoted. Ironic, no? This is exactly the cheerful-speech run-around I got from the Youth Coordinator all those years ago. Apparently you are as deeply frightened about being honest, forthright and truthful as my nephew was forced to be. So be it.
I want the straight dope and since you’re busy waving the Trust and Honesty Flag, you get to deliver it. To all of us. That is, if you are not deeply frightened to do so.
What is the full agenda and schedule of events when a young boy is taken away from his parents for the weekend by older men?
What are the rituals he is forced to participate in- including full text and all physical actions and inter-actions?
Why is he not permitted to call home to his parents during these weekend trips?
What will happen to a 12 year old boy when the adult men who take him away find out he has told the truth to - gasp - his parents about his activities?
When is the last time a parent was permitted to witness in full the activities their son is forced to participate in, involving older men?
Cartooniverse, I’ve read your posts on this thread, and I’ve gotta say, that if I were a parent, I’d agree with you. But, I’m not a parent. But I still agree with you.
When I was in Boy Scouts, there were always several adults with us, and as I kinda learned later, it was a policy just to prevent something like what you fear. I disagree with the Boy Scouts on a few issues, but they were always a well-intentioned organization, and open to the public at large. But there were always inherent ‘failsafes’, if you want to call 'em that.
I’m in no way slamming the Masons, their subsidiaries, or any other organization. I just wanna let you know I’ve got respect for your stand, and I’ve got your “parental” back on that one. I understand your concerns, and I swear, I wish a lot more people questioned things like this.
Yours is certainly a valid opinion to hold. I’ve found and followed research and parenting techniques which have informed me differently. Research into gang activity has shown that boys still crave belonging to a secret society, risk-taking activity and having a life their parents don’t know about. I’d rather my son do that with responsible adult males than with other dunderheaded teenagers and no supervision. He knows he CAN come to me with anything he wants, and he does. But there’s some things he simply won’t ask his mom. I wish he would, and I would welcome it, but that’s not the way he’s made.
I am not a Mason, as my first post in this thread should indicate. No one in my immediate family is. I have several friends who are, and I have formed a positive opinion of the organization based on their literature, conversations with Masons. and the fabulous medical treament my son received at a Shriner’s hospital. Those are what has influenced my thinking, not some mind-control Freemason Rays.
No, I did not know how degrading it was, or I wouldn’t have said it. It is not my intention to inflame or degrade anyone. I was actually attempting to answer your challenge about getting a boy to tell you what happened at DeMolay. It was clumsily done on my part to place the quoted text at the beginning of my post instead of before that paragraph. I think that would have made my intent more clear, and I apologize for any pain my sloppy editing caused,
I dio no know all the details of the events, but I know that sexual activity is not inherent in what they do, as I’ve asked at least six grown men with no current conections to DeMolay or the Masons, and no motivation for falsehood that I can discern, and they have each reported that nothing sexual or illegal ever happened. Of course that doesn’t mean that no child is ever molested at a DeMolay event. But it does sugggest that it’s not the widespread institution being covered up by every Mason they way you insinuate.
Of course, if a child is molested, it’s a horrible crime, amd should be investigated by legal authorities and the perpetrator should rot in jail before beng consigned to the flames of hell. I’m not being sarcastic here. There is not a single crime I find more abhorrent, not even rape or murder. At least adults have mental resources and maturity to help them recover (a small consolation) at least murder victims dont suffer a lifetime of memories and tormet (another small consolation). Yes, I find child molestation the very worst of the bad crimes. But I also don’t see the need to accuse it where it isn’t happening. I see that as degrading to the victims and creating at atmosphere of impotent terror, where real molesters can hide behind a smokescreen of general panic.
If your nephew was molested, that’s terrible. I hope the bastard who touched him rots in the special hell. But that does not mean that all of DeMolay is comprised of “pedophile lying secretive bastards”, nor does it mean that secrets kept by teens are inherently bad. Paedophilia is bad. Molestation is bad. Secrets are not always bad, nor are secrets always (or even generally) about sexual activity.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be vigilant, I’m saying we should first form feelings of self-worth in our children, form a relationship with them where they know they can stand up for themselves and stop any inapproriate touching and come and tell us about it without negative consequences for them, and then watch for signs and symptoms. We should act quickly, decisively and with law enforcement should those signs appear. I don’t believe most men are paedophiles. If I believed that, I couldn’t go on living, I’d just shoot my son and then myself rather than expose us to that constant threat.
As I stated above, I quoted you in an attempt to answer what I thought was the underlying concern: that paedophilia or sexual ritual practice is a routine part of DeMolay’s work. Based on my converstations with former DeMolay members, I am confident it is not. I do not know the answers to the questions you ask, but I do remain confident that sexual activity, drugs and alcohol are not a part of the DeMolay program. (These are the red flags that concern me, so these are the things I asked about.) Anyone who is offering these things to the boys needs to be prosecuted by law and thrown out of the organization for life.
Once again, just so we’re all clear: I’m not a Mason or a member of DeMolay. I don’t fit their first requirement: being male. No one in my direct family is a Mason. They hold nothing over me. I am not operating out of fear. I have come to these conclusions all by myself, out of research and free will. You may disagree with me, and that’s your right. But these ideas and words are all mine.
I did do some Google-fu to try and find the text of some DeMolay rites, and came up with several message boards devoted to DeMolay discussions, and some sites about the rites, but not the texts themselves. Nor, actually, did I find any disgruntled former DeMolay sites posting anything negative about the rites or activities. While evidence by absence is weak evidence, it does seem that if abuse were a widespread issue, some victims would be shouting about it quite loudly on the internet - a vast impersonal and largely anonymous forum - and posting the dark rites which they were subjected to. Unless you seriously think that the Masons are controlling the internet, I’d suggest that any molestation is rare, reprehensible and should be treated accordingly.
(I searched for DeMolay rites rituals text and DeMolay rites, if you want to see what I was looking at.)
I think this is why you’re not getting the answers you’re looking for. Why do you need to know everything, in detail, leaving nothing out? If you want to know about sexual activity, than ask about and listen to the answers about that. You don’t need to know about the Flower Talk or the Rite of The Snot Soaked Handkerchief. You won’t get answers about secret rites because they are secret. Not because they are necessarily shameful or illegal. People may not tell you because they don’t see the need for you to know, or because they respect their organization, not because they’re operating out of fear.
Argent Towers, I’m sorry this thread got so badly hijacked, but I didn’t want to let this issue go unaddressed and leave a one-sided impression of an organization close to the Masons. I do think you should do your own research and come to your own conclusions on this and any other negative (or positive) thing you hear about the Masons. There are a lot of lies and slander out there.
Again, IANAM, but I have been told the opposite: the Masons are not allowed to recruit directly or ask you to join. You must approach them. I do believe you need a mentor, but if you approach them (at their lodge, at a bar-be-que or one of their tables at a street fair), they will find you an appropriate mentor who will guide you through the initiation process. But you have to ask.
(Sorry for three in a row, but it’s early and I don’t have my act together yet. There’s far too much blood in my caffeine stream.)
Yes, looking at the pamphlet my husband picked up at the art fair two weeks ago (terrible pamphlet design, by the way. Looks like it was hashed out in Word and copied from a copy. It’s obvious they’re not spending any money on graphic design!) there’s contact information on the front, and it’s clear that inquiry has to be made by the individual. This supports the “no prostletyzing” rule I’ve heard from Masons.
Requirements in Illinois are:
Be a man
Believe in a Supreme Diety
Be 18 years old
Be able to read and write English
Have resided in Illinois for at least six months
The entire text can be found here, including this section:
You go Argent – I thought about seeking them out. I’m 21 now and if I wasn’t heavily entrenched in other activities and such, I’d probably go find myself at the door of the Mason’s HQ here in Atlanta. I knew one guy who was a Mason, really nice guy, got me my first job while I was in high school.
I’d like to look into them and see what they’re all about, but not right now - life’s busy enough as it is.
If you’re able, let us know how it goes (as much as you’re allowed at least.)
For the initial ceremony, the new member is dressed in a white suit, not his own clothes. At one point, he is asked if he came in freely, of his own volition, and brought no earthly wealth (or something like that.) If the new guy answers “Well, I brought this coin,” the brothers get to giggle about having pulled the ancient Masonic joke yet again.
This is what concerns me. A pattern of secrecy that forces children to withold information from their own parents. While I do agree that it’s very healthy for kids to learn to form bonds with adults who are not their parents ( and, likely kinda UNhealthy to force a child never to trust anyone but their parents ), I do find this practice of formal enforced secrecy to be inappropriate in the extreme.
Sorry for the personal attack. I should have worded those remarks much more generally- because clearly the person I was addressing is not alone in those sentiments. I’m sorry I singled out any one Doper, that is indeed inappropriate for the Forum.
As for the OP’er, you are an adult. If you feel this is a worthwhile organization and you have a lot to gain from joining, I hope it fulfills your wishes in that regard.
Of course, I am still waiting for the 5 answers in detail…