The Royal Black Institution

Roy Garland (Irish News) response to Inside the Royal Black Institution

Paul Malcomson’s recent book on the “The Royal Black Institution” has tried to lift the lid on secret Black Order rituals. The Black is widely regarded as the most respectable of the Loyal Orders but, in Malcomson’s view members engage in secret repulsive rituals. One rather doubtful source on the origins of these rituals is Rev Alexander Hislop’s, “The Two Babylons or the Papal Worship proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife” first published in mid 19th century. As a Free Church of Scotland Minister Hislop claimed the Catholic Church had subsumed pagan gods and rituals under Christian terminology. His work was popular among young people attending Ian Paisley’s rallies during the 1960s and Ian Paisley is quoted as an authority by Paul Malcomson. If Hislop’s criticisms can apply to both the Loyal Orders and the Catholic Church this should surely provoke interesting questions. Thankfully before I encountered Hislop I had absorbed the concept of “the right of private judgement” through the works of evangelical Anglican Rev TC Hammond. This meant that I questioned Alexander Hislop’s theories but fundamentalists are not generally known for encouraging adherents to think for themselves. Malcomson repeats a strange notion that wherever the letters IHS appear, including in Protestant Churches, this suggests that a Jesuit priest has been at work. I heard this in the 1960s but rejected it as nonsense but Malcomson goes even further claiming that, “the Jesuits have left their stamp upon the Black”. He makes the incredible suggestion that there has been a Jesuit “infiltration of Protestantism”, through the Black Order. Nor does he acknowledge that today’s Jesuit Order has changed radically. He claims that certain objectionable rituals are common to the Black, Jesuits, Mormons, Templers, Freemasons, Knights of Malta and others. Ian Paisley is quoted as saying that the “pagan” Jesuit motto is “the substance of devil worship. The cloven hoof be upon them”. For Malcomson the Black initiation ritual is similar to other rituals, “carried out by witches in their Satanic covens”. One Black ritual, which can involve human bones, is even said to be a “parody of the satanic Black Mass”. My father was Master of a Black Lodge. I have his Red Cross – the highest degree awarded by the Black together with my grandfather’s Red Cross. My great grandfather was Master of a Black Lodge in Dungannon over a century ago and a direct ancestor was a founder member of the first Orange Lodge at The Dyan County Tyrone. But dad became an evangelical Christian who left the Loyal Orders in the mid 1950s. Despite this I never heard him criticise the Black. His only concern was about those who did not practise the faith they professed during Orange rituals. Dad encouraged me to join the junior Orange at a very young age but I found the secret knocks, handshakes and passwords childish and left after a short time. Some years later I foolishly listened to certain home grown demigods who preached about conspiracies to undermine Ulster. The result was I returned to the Orange Order to find the element of secrecy making sense in the context of Jesuits, Communists and Republicans supposedly infiltrating every Protestant organisation. Later on reflection, I realised that it was certain evangelical fundamentalists who did the infiltration and drove the Loyal Orders towards the far right in the process. The Loyal Orders my dad knew seemed to be a force for stability. But when faced by attacks from modern bitter anti-ecumenical fundamentalists on the inside, the Orange leadership seemed at a loss to know what to do. Today the Black claims to be evangelical. It promotes Bible reading, Reformed faith, charitable and faith based outreach and “responsible citizenship”. Malcomson admits that the Black Order has sought but been refused membership of a fundamentalist United Protestant Council. But the professed evangelicalism is, according to Malcomson, a cloak that hides practices derived from pagan rituals. One of these involves confronting new recruits with their mortality. Hence the word “Black” signifying mourning. The recruit is confronted with human bones that included part of a real human skull but which today is usually a coconut shell or something else, “not fashioned by human hand”. From this receptacle bitter wine is supped by the new member in memory of “Brother Joseph”, the Biblical son of Jacob. This ritual is roundly condemned as a “Black Communion”. There is however a dearth of documentary evidence and Blackmen don’t discuss these matters in detail. I intend to return to this theme next week. Email: For more startling detail, you can purchase the book here: Inside the Royal Black Institution The Black Oath Ghoulish Black Practices Exposed for the first time in over 212 years The Royal Black Institution and British Israelism United Protestant Council reject “Royal” Black Institution