Readers reply to George Dawson

(Issue 29)

In UC 27 we reviewed a book by Paul Malcomson called “Behind Closed Doors” examining the practices of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter. In the last issue the book’s conclusions and review were rebutted by Mr George Dawson. Here the book’s author responds to Mr Dawson’s objections and subsequent letters from readers contribute to the debate.”


Dear Editor,

I was saddened, yet not surprised, at the extreme tone and the inaccurate nature of a letter written in your last issue by a Mr George Dawson, attacking the book ‘behind closed doors’ and the ‘Ulster Christian’ reviewer. As the author of the aforementioned book, I feel compelled to respond to his misleading letter.

Firstly, and so as to clear up any ambiguity on the matter, it is important to note that Mr Dawson is none other than the Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution. Although Mr Dawson declares he is not part of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter he is, in fact, a leading member of the Royal Arch Purple Order (the body that Behind Closed Doors examines) through his membership of the Independent Orange Institution.

The Royal Arch Purple initiation, worked within the Independent Orange, is in essence the same degree as that employed by the Royal Arch Purple Chapter, although like any distinct organisation there are some slight differences.

In his letter, Mr Dawson states that the book is “poorly researched, historically inaccurate, factually inaccurate and linguistically inaccurate,” yet he fails to furnish the reader with a single shred of evidence. He then lets loose with a barrage of unsubstantiated claims about the thrust of the book. Not surprisingly, he fails, in his whole letter, to advance any biblical arguments to justify this neo-Masonic structure. Whilst Mr Dawson’s comments are devoid of any substance or scriptural content, the book he chooses to attack ‘behind closed doors’ is saturated with factual, historic and scriptural arguments – none of which Mr Dawson chooses to address.

While one can understand Mr Dawson’s unease at the exposure of his order’s secrets, it is very hard to comprehend his dismissal of blatant truth. The contents of this book, as he knows, are correct and can be substantiated by countless believers throughout the Province (and throughout the world) who like myself have undergoing this ceremony and have since separated from this pseudo-Christian body on biblical grounds. The Bible commands us in II Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

Paul Malcomson,

(Paul is now a Pastor in the USA)

We recommend a revealing book written by David W Daniels – Should A Christian Be A Mason


Dear Editor,

“I wish to comment on the letter in your last publication by George Dawson. As a former member of the Royal Arch Purple Order I find his letter unbelievable. Firstly, he dismisses the book ‘behind closed doors’ as “inaccurate” despite knowing full well that the details outlined are completely valid. Secondly, he accuses the book’s author Mr Malcomson of “extremism” yet he chooses to defend one of the most disreputable, anti-biblical, secret ceremonies imaginable. Who is it that is being unfaithful to the Word of God?

Mr Dawson also shies away from the many biblical arguments contained within the book Behind Closed Doors choosing rather to mislead your readers with false statements. I personally would like to know where he stands on Freemasonry, when he himself has went through the same undignified initiation as them?

Any fair believer would know that these secret societies have been damaging evangelical Protestantism for years. The Royal Arch Purple Order is, in reality, paganism in disguise. The Bible says, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).”

Yours in Christ,

Andrew Evans

Recommended reading:


Dear Sir

As someone who has previously reviewed the book Behind Closed Doors in the English Churchman newsletter, I was amazed at the pejorative attack by Mr. George Dawson, the self-styled defender of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter. In his letter Mr Dawson engages in sweeping generalisations and dismisses the book as “historically….factually and linguistically inaccurate.” While I am not unsympathetic to some of the criticisms levelled against the book in terms of minor points of detail and its conclusions, it is axiomatic that it is well researched and delineates closely the practices and rituals of the RAP degree.

One of the most fundamental rules of law in this land is that “he who alleges must prove” and Mr Dawson’s letter falls well short of that maxim.

Believers must be able to show that their actions and words are not incongruous with Scriptures. Having read Mr Dawson’s letter and previous writings on this subject I cannot help but feel the gravest of doubts about his putative ability to do so, especially when he engages in obfuscating the issues by personalising his attacks on another Christian brother.

The challenge remains to those who defend the RAP degree to prove from Holy Scriptures and history the merits of what sounds like bizarre ritualistic paganism!

Yours sincerely,

Paul Ferguson,

(Rev Dr Ferguson is currently the pastor of Larne Mission Hall, Northern Ireland)


Dear Editor,

As one who has followed with interest the debate within Protestantism concerning the book “Behind Closed Doors”, Mr George Dawson’s letter in your last issue, has provoked me into asking him to tell the Evangelical Protestant community where this book is “poorly researched, historically inaccurate, factually incorrect and linguistically inaccurate”. Mr Dawson gives us absolutely no evidence to back this claim, and since I and many like me are concerned that my Royal Arch Purple (RAP) friends may be Free Masons in disguise we genuinely need our concerns addressed.

In addressing our concerns I would ask him

1) Is the RAP initiate assured he can make an obligation to the organization which will not hinder him in his duty to God, country or one’s self and then finds this to be contradicted by sealing him to keep the secrets of his fellow RAP men in everything except murder and treason? What about theft, fraud etc.?

2) Christian’s are taught “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, is it true the RAP man is only bound to the promise not to have “unlawful carnal knowledge of a brother RAP’s wife, mother, daughter, sister or any near or dear female relatives”? Surely he should be bound to have no unlawful carnal knowledge with anyone?

3) Is it true the RAP initiate is told he has received the “light” which is later referred to as the “marvelous light” knowing that both terms refer to Christ Jesus, and rather than receiving it through the ministry of the Holy Ghost, one receives it through the ministry of the Worshipful Master?

4) Is the RAP initiate told he will get to the “Grand Lodge above” by careful regulation of his life, yet there is no mention of the blood of Christ or his atoning work, repentance or forgiveness from sin.

Surely in conclusion, if these things are indeed accurate as Mr Malcomson suggests then we do have “an alternative method of salvation” as Mr Dawson puts it.

Yours sincerely

Paul Johnston (Independent Methodist Pastor), Fintona, Co. Tyrone

Evangelical Truth debate with Independent Orange Institution

Ulster Christian review of Behind Closed Doors
The response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Readers response (including the author of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – Paul Malcomson).
Second response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Evangelical Truth reply to George Dawson

Other Debate

Evangelical Truth response to Former Independent Orange Grand Master’s attack on Behind Closed Doors.
Biblical response to Rev. Ron Johnstone (Royal Arch Purple Chapter spokesman): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Grand Chaplain to the Grand Orange Lodge of England JRG Harvey book in response to Behind Closed Doors: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

For more information, please William Schnoebelen’s enlightening book Masonry Beyond the Light

Protestant/Evangelical opposition to the Loyal Orders

United Protestant Council initial report into the Royal Black Institution application
United Protestant Council exhaustive report into the Royal Black Institution application
The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland report on Loyal Orders
A Theological Report by the Church of Ireland – on the RBI
Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Orange Order
The Covenanter Witness (Reformed Presbyterian)
The Burning Bush – A Publication by Rev Ivan Foster, a Free Presbyterian minister.
Baptist Magazine
Rev. Norman W McAuley (Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
Independent Methodist Pastor Paul Johnston
The English Churchman (Rev Dr Paul Ferguson)
Church of Ireland General Synod Sub Committee
Ulster Christian
Omega Times – Newspaper of New Zealand Evangelist, Barry Smith
Take Heed Ministries (Cecil Andrew)
British Churchman (Johnny Larner)

Former Royal Black Deputy Grand Chaplain (Rev. Canon Brian T. Blacoe)
Former Royal Black Lecturer, Orange Worshipful Master and Royal Arch Purple Worshipful Master (Malcolm McClughan)
United Protestant Council Chairman (David Carson)
Former County Down Orange Treasurer, Worshipful Master, Deputy Master, and Chaplain – Jackson Blakely
Former County Londonderry Orange and Royal Arch Purpleman Andrew Evans
Former County Armagh Orange, Royal Arch Purple and (Red Cross) Blackman Alex Newell
Former County Tyrone Orange Chaplain and Orange/Small Purple Lecturer Paul Stewart (also former Red Cross Blackman)

Lodges Examined by the Bible by John R. Rice