Oaths in some groups require candidates to conceal other members’ secrets, says author
19th August 2003
This month the PSNI announced all police officers must register membership of what it describes as notifiable organisations. But the move has prompted an author who has studied secret societies in depth to speak out. “My main concern is not with any one specific secret society, nor with the PSNI, but with secret societies in general,” says County Down author Mr Paul Malcolmson. “Those in any position of responsibility in society who are in such societies are seriously compromised – whether that society is Protestant or Catholic.”
“Although I speak all across the country, I have seen people from Kilkeel to Banbridge to South Armagh coming out of the Loyal Orders.”
He says his book, Behind Closed Doors, has sold over 3000 copies and that his website evangelicaltruth.com gets 9000 hits a month.
“I know of one minister in South Armagh and another in South Down who have resigned in recent days. They are two very prominent people within the Orders and I know that they have influence over many people. “I could fill a room or two with people from South Down and South Armagh who have resigned after speaking to us. In South Armagh there is a Royal Arch Purple degree Lecturer who has put 3–400 people through the degree that has now come out.
“The men of South Down and South Armagh who are resigning are mainly in their 20s and 30s. Men in their 50s and 60s are harder to turn because they have been in the Orders for so long.”
He says Protestant and Catholic secret societies share similar rituals, secrets and symbols. They foster the same bigotry because they are exclusive to one side. “The oaths of preference to their own members that many secret societies require can also potentially create conflicts of interest later in the minds of those that take them.”
“95% of Orange men take the Royal Arch Purple degree oath: “I will keep and conceal the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.” “Freemasonry’s Master Mason oath is very similar to the Royal Arch Purple, proving Orangeism evolved from Freemasonry. The masons swears: “I promise, and swear that Master Masons secrets shall remain secure, murder and treason excepted.”
“One of the things that is impressed upon you in secret societies is that the oath is binding upon a man’s conscience and should he ever divulges any of the secrets he receives he deserves nothing better than to have his throat cut, his heart and vitals torn out and his body severed in two.” That is true of both the Royal Arch Purple and Freemasonry.”
Mr Malcomson says he understands why the Loyal Orders would consider him “a traitor.” But because of his faith he sees “the rocking of everything people find security in today, including secret societies, Royalty, the Catholic Church, the UK constitution, farming, the security forces, etc, etc. I see this as a wake-up call from God.”
“I don’t believe there is a political answer to Northern Ireland’s problems – only a spiritual one. A revival of pure Christianity without all the traditions is what is needed. And the only test we have on men’s traditions and what is from God is the Word of God.”
Mr Malcomson says “secret societies conflict with Christianity, because Christ always taught openly and Bible truths are for public preaching and teaching.” But he does suggest an alternative to secret society societies for those involved: “Orangeism was there in times of great trouble for men coming together to meet together – and that is understandable, but the only fellowship that God has ordained, and that really satisfies is between those who are truly born again of the Spirit of God. That includes peoples from all tribes, tongues and nations around the world.” Malcomson said: “It is not about any one particular denomination. It is not based on where we are born or what church we go to. This Gospel is equally available to Irish nationalists and Ulster Protestants. It is there for whosoever is willing to embrace Christ in salvation.”
Mr Malcomson concludes, “I believe in openness. Secrecy breeds suspicion and any new laws that encourage openness at this time are to be welcomed.”