Man lifts lid on secrets of Arch Purple Order

Man lifts lid on secrets of Arch Purple Order

Irish News

June 18 th 1999

By Paul McKillon

A FORMER member of a secret society intimately linked with the Orange Order yesterday revealed the bizarre and degrading “unchristian” oaths and rituals which intimidate members .

Paul Malcolmson said he was exposing the underground world of the Royal Arch Purple Order in his book Behind Closed Doors to “break through the veil of mystery” which surrounds the order.

An evangelical Protestant, Mr Malcolmson said he believed the order’s rituals were “incompatible with the Protestant faith” and wanted to let members of the Orange Order “know what they were getting into” before joining the shadowy group.

He explained that the Orange Order was a “kindergarten” for the Royal Purple, which in turn is a recruiting ground for the Royal Black Preceptory.

He confirmed that senior politiciansbelonged to the order which he said had a “colossal” membership of about 95,000.

“I joined the Royal Purple because of the mystery of advancement,” Mr Malcolmson said.

He added: “I believed it was a Christian organisation but I found it was a highly degrading and deeply offensive ritualistic experience.”

Quoting from scripture, Mr Malcolmson explained how each stage of the initiation procedure contravenes Protestant beliefs which it purports to uphold.

One of the stages called ‘riding the goat’ involves the candidate receiving a “violent push backward” on to a blanket.

“Here he undergoes one of the most painful and humiliating experiences within the Royal Arch Purple ceremony when he is brutally kicked and tossed upon the blanket by the assembled chapter for a number of minutes.”

Mr Malcolmson describes this as a “demeaning farce” and “an irreligious sham”, asking how it can promote “holy living or respect for one’s man”.

Although the Royal Purple oath threatens punishment by death for divulging its mysteries, Mr Malcolmson said he was not aware of any threat against his life.

“Now that I have left the order they can’t do anything against me. But the only fear I have is fear for God.”