Satanic secrets of the Orange Order
The Observer (London)
24th October 1999
Paul Malcomson has been campaigning in Northern Ireland to persuade fundamentalists in the Orange Order to throw away their sashes and bowler hats. A born-again Christian Loyalist, he now poses a bigger threat to the Protestant organisation than the fiercest nationalist residents’ groups.
Malcomson recently published a book, Behind Closed Doors, which claims to lift the lid on the Orange Order, which claims 80,000 members in Scotland.
He hopes the book will have a similar effect on the reputation of the Orange Order as The Brotherhood did on the reputation of the masons. This weekend the 33-year-old author also launched a website –http://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. 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 was concerned most about 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;
• Beating the candidate across the legs with brambles and, in some cases, holly to the accompaniment of laughter and even goat-like bleatings.
Malcomson believes these rituals have 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 born-again Christians have left the Order since his book was launched this year. 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…
‘[This has] been my calling for the last seven years and it’s going to continue.’
Cecil Kilpatrick, 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 institution’s symbolism.
‘He complains about the use of the symbol of a ladder but I see that as representing Jacob’s ladder in the bible while he sees it as coming from witchcraft,’ Patton said. ‘He has got carried away with the importance of the rituals and the symbols.’
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.
‘It’s going to be even more explosive than the last one,’ he said.