Orange Order ‘pagan’ rites under attack!
THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD
(Saturday – Sunday November 6-7th 1999)
A born-again Christian Loyalist now poses a bigger threat to the Protestant Orange Order than the fiercest nationalist residents’ groups. The crusade of Paul Malcomson, a former Orangeman, to convince thousands of fundamentalist Christians to throw away their sashes and bowler hats is gaining momentum and makes him a greater danger than the various leaders of republican communities opposed to Orange marches.
Malcomson’s book, Behind Closed Doors, claims to lift the lid on the “satanic and pagan rituals” in the largest Ulster Loyalist cultural body. He plans to take the campaign to Scotland where the Order claims to have 80,000 members. After that he wants to reach Orangemen in North America, Australasia and Africa.
Malcomson hopes the book will have a similar effect on the reputation of the Orange Order as The Brotherhood did on the Masons.
The 33-year-old author also launched a website – www.evangelicaltruth.com to warn Christians about the dangers of Orangeism.
Speaking from his home in Banbridge, Co. Down – an area with a strong Orange tradition – Malcomson explained why he had turned so vehemently against the order.
“Eight years ago my father, who was an Elim Pentecostal minister, died” he said. “After his death I decided to take stock of my life, to look at the way I was living. At the time I was in the Orange Order and a member of a local flute band. Simultaneously I became a born-again Christian and started to question my views and in particular why I was an Orangeman.
The more I read the more I became concerned at the rituals and practices inside the order. The whole secrecy aspect of Orangeism started to worry me deeply because Christ worked openly and preached an open Gospel. The secret oaths of Orangeism, the exclusion of women from certain grades, the
exclusivity, made me think that they were violating the word of God.’
Malcomson’s main concern focused on the rituals of the Royal Arch Purple, an elite branch of Orangeism of which he was once a member. He noticed a similarity between the rites of the Royal Arch Purple and Freemasonry, including several bizarre practices he later revealed in his book. These included:
Blindfolding a new recruit and making him kneel on a mock coffin while vowing to destroy his own life if he divulges the teachings of the order…
As in Freemasonry, has most of his clothes and one shoe taken from him and has a purple ribbon fastened to his shirt;
Riding the goat – a ritual in which the blindfolded initiate is wrapped in a canvas sheet and then kicked and tossed about by the assembled members of the Order;
Harsh beatings – members beat the candidate across the legs with brambles and, in some cases, holly to the accompaniment of laughter and even goat-like bleatings. He believes these rituals, such as immitating goats, find their roots in witchcraft rather than Protestantism.
‘The Orange Order says it is the defender of the Protestant faith but these secret oaths and strange rituals are more to do with paganism and are ultimately satanic. I want to inform Evangelical Christians that their faith is incompatible with membership of an order that tolerates organisations
like the Arch Purple.’
Malcomson claims that hundreds of born-again Christians have left the Order…He is unapologetic that his campaign may speed
the decline of the already embattled order, which is still reeling from blows to its reputation arising from violence at Drumcree in recent years.
Cecil Kilpatrick, the author of a book about King William of Orange and a member of the Royal Arch Purple, said that he provided research material for Malcomson’s book.
‘If we were such a secretive organisation then why did we give him so many documents so he could write his book? The trouble with Paul is that instead of seeing reds under every bed, he sees devils everywhere.’
George Patton, the spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said Malcomson was reading too much into the symbolism associated with the institution.
After his campaign in Scotland, Malcomson plans to write a book on the Royal Black Preceptory, the most elite of all the Protestant marching institutions.