Anyone know anything about Free Masons? Why are they so secretive about the fraternity?

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Posted 3/18/2010 by Stinky Rose in NSBR Board
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Stinky Rose
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Posted: 3/18/2010 5:49:24 PM
DH knows a couple of guys that are Masons and they are sworn to secrecy about some "things" that go on with the fraternity.

So, being the curious person I am, I came directly to those who know something about everything.



ginacivey
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Posted: 3/18/2010 5:53:20 PM
My DH is a 32d degree Mason - he's been a mason for 21 years - and a former Worshipful Master

my oldest son is a Master Mason

the are a private organization - they are private with the details of their rituals - not about any work they might do

do you have a question in particular?

gina


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Posted: 3/18/2010 5:56:58 PM
are there any other kind of 'masons'? a guy group?

if not, then that's the one that the John Ankenberg show had a segment on the other week. they had on a Mason ceremony master? something like that - to give info on it.

I didn't watch it all but it was something i wouldn't want anyone i know involved in. he did reveal secret stuff.

i'm sure they have a CD / dvd with that segment available at his website.

they also rerun them off and on. he's had some shows on recently that were just on a month or so ago.





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ginacivey
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Posted: 3/18/2010 5:58:26 PM
what did they show that you would object to?

i think i might have seen the show you are talking about

gina

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:10:55 PM
I've always wondered about Masons too. The whole idea of a "secret society" seems so Medieval to me, and the only reason my mind comes up with for the secrecy is that they're doing things that are illegal or immoral or at the very least that people would disapprove of. Whether that's actually the case or not I guess I'll never know.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:18:10 PM
I don't know much about them, except I am very grateful for the work they do through the Shriners Hospitals. DH & I were invited to a dinner at the local Masonic lodge and I'll say everyone was incredibly welcoming and it was a very enjoyable, warm experience. They invited DH to join (or to apply to join, I think would be more correct), but he decided it just wasn't his thing. We help Shriners raise money in other ways.

I think that in today's society, where there is an expectation of freeflowing information, the Masons are going to have a difficult time recruiting new members if they don't change some of their habits.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:20:46 PM
They don't do anything that is illegal or immoral

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:21:42 PM

The whole idea of a "secret society" seems so Medieval to me, and the only reason my mind comes up with for the secrecy is that they're doing things that are illegal or immoral or at the very least that people would disapprove of. Whether thats actually the case or not I guess I'll never know.
Immoral? Illegal? Seriously?

My grandfather was a mason for more than 30 years. Later in life, he didn't go to meetings anymore but he was always proud of his affiliation with the Masons.

He was a man who would help anyone. His lodge offered a great deal of comfort to my grandmother upon his death.

Anyone with questions can start here:

Wiki Masons

And they don't actively "recruit".


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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:21:54 PM
I'm sure there are videos available that give details on Mason ceremonies.

I read about Masons several years ago, and remember thinking that the ceremonial aspect sounded unbelieveably juvenile and silly.

I think that secrecy generally is there to cover up something that would seem bad or stupid or ill-conceived to the general population if it were known. Not just talking about Masonry here; just in general.JMTC.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:23:39 PM
My college sorority did plenty that was secret, and nothing that was immoral or illegal.

They've counted some excellent men in their organization historically, and have done some wonderful work.

FWIW, I know no one in the organization.


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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:29:17 PM
My dad is a 33rd Degree Master Mason and a Shriner. We kid him a lot about his "secret handshake" stuff, but it's all in fun.

Masons, like many other fraternal organizations, have private aspects and rituals. Yet it seems like, today, whenever something is kept 'secret' society assigns nefarious meanings to it.

My question is, why does it bother anyone that they prefer to keep their rituals secret? The works that they accomplish (medical research, hospitals, educational grants, burn centers, childrens homes, etc) benefit everyone, so who is it hurting?


ETA: Not all Masons are Shriners, but all Shriners are Masons.


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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:29:22 PM

And they don't actively "recruit".

Maybe recruit wasn't the best word choice, but I just mean to continue to attract younger members so the organization sustains itself. We we went to the dinner, everyone there was quite a bit older. One of the Masons told us that the average age of members of that lodge (sorry if my terminology is wrong) was 71. That age is pretty consistent with what we see among the Shriner volunteers when we are at Shriners for appointments.

I just want them to continue to be relevant and gain younger members so they can continue the great work they do through Shriners.

mstubble
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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:41:22 PM
My father was a Mason for 50 years. They are no more secretive than any other private organization/fraternity. The do nothing illegal or immoral; one of the requirements for membership is that one be of good morals, and of good reputation.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:46:13 PM
my dad is a mason.
he isnt immoral and doesnt do illegal stuff.
why should they HAVE to share thier rituals?
just because they dont doesnt make them bad, ya know.


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dynalady
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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:46:40 PM
My grandfather was a Mason. There is nothing illegal or immoral about it. A lot of fraternal organizations, including fraternities and sororities, have secret rituals. That doesn't mean they are bad, it means you have to be a member to know all about it. Nothing wrong with that.

Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were Free Masons. George Washington was a Free Mason.







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~*kristina*~
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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:46:42 PM
My father was a Mason also and I was a Rainbow girl (the fraternal organization for daughters of Masons).

I can't speak for what goes on at the meetings of Masons, but I can confidently tell you that nothing illegal or immoral goes in in the meetings of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls. In fact, faith, hope and charity is the theme.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:49:33 PM
I don't know much, but the church I went to as a teen claimed they were a cult and not "of God." But that church was always hating on other religions or organized groups. I went with a friend to clean a Mason's house and my friend refused to clean the Mason plaques and stuff due to his religious beliefs.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:52:38 PM
They are not a cult, the organization does only good works also the meetings are far from juvenile.

carolanns2
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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:53:59 PM
In fact George Washington was a Mason.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 6:57:54 PM
So it's a big secret that we who are not Masons cannot know......

Tango1*
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:05:10 PM
I thought I remembered something about Freemasonry being at odds with Christianity so I decided to Google since I know little about the Masons. I found this explanation:


Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God which, but for the truth of His existence, are unexplainable. Such a view makes all truths relative and holds that God can be equally pleased with truth and error. Because Christians believe that God has definitively revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and desires that all men come to the knowledge of this truth, indifferentism is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

Freemasonry's teachings and practices also result in syncretism which is the blending of different religious beliefs into a unified whole. This is evidenced most especially by Masonry's religious rituals which gather men of all faiths around a common altar, and place all religious writings along side the Bible on the Masonic altar. This is also demonstrated by the Lodge's prayers and its unique names and symbols for God and heaven. Syncretism is the logical consequence of indifferentism.

The Lodge's practice of requiring its members to swear immoral oaths is also incompatible with Christianity. These oaths require a Christian to swear on the Holy Bible that he will uphold a code of moral conduct that prefers Masons over non-Masons, and to preserve secret passwords and handshakes. Such oaths are gravely immoral because their subject matter is trivial or does not give rise to the necessity of an oath. These oaths are also sworn under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of physical torture and death called self-curses (e.g., having my throat cut across, and my tongue torn out by its roots). These penalties show a lack of respect for God and amount to blasphemy which is a serious sin.

As Christians, we do not judge individual Masons or attack their character. In fact, most Masons are good and virtuous men. Instead, we judge the teachings of Masonic ritual in light of the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. We hope that Christian Masons will open up to us by using their Masonic rituals to explain and defend the teachings of the Lodge in the light of Christian faith.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:09:10 PM
And what Christian website did you find that on? I'd be interested to see.


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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:09:53 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Gee we don't understand them, so they must be evil right? Grab the pitchforks and light up the stake, we's a gonna have a witch burnin' tonight!

Some of the posts in this thread crack me up, considering most of these people learned everything they know about the Masons from watching "National Treasure".

dynalady
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:10:11 PM
To become a Mason you have to believe in a supreme being/higher power. It can be the Christian god or any other. It is an organization that allows members of all beliefs. I would have a very hard time accepting any explanation as to how that is bad.







"I contend we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Stephen Roberts




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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:14:24 PM

It can be the Christian god or any other. It is an organization that allows members of all beliefs.
Yep, they're the epitome of evil.


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mstubble
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:17:17 PM

Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God which, but for the truth of His existence, are unexplainable. Such a view makes all truths relative and holds that God can be equally pleased with truth and error. Because Christians believe that God has definitively revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and desires that all men come to the knowledge of this truth, indifferentism is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

Freemasonry's teachings and practices also result in syncretism which is the blending of different religious beliefs into a unified whole. This is evidenced most especially by Masonry's religious rituals which gather men of all faiths around a common altar, and place all religious writings along side the Bible on the Masonic altar. This is also demonstrated by the Lodge's prayers and its unique names and symbols for God and heaven. Syncretism is the logical consequence of indifferentism.

The Lodge's practice of requiring its members to swear immoral oaths is also incompatible with Christianity. These oaths require a Christian to swear on the Holy Bible that he will uphold a code of moral conduct that prefers Masons over non-Masons, and to preserve secret passwords and handshakes. Such oaths are gravely immoral because their subject matter is trivial or does not give rise to the necessity of an oath. These oaths are also sworn under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of physical torture and death called self-curses (e.g., having my throat cut across, and my tongue torn out by its roots). These penalties show a lack of respect for God and amount to blasphemy which is a serious sin.

As Christians, we do not judge individual Masons or attack their character. In fact, most Masons are good and virtuous men. Instead, we judge the teachings of Masonic ritual in light of the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. We hope that Christian Masons will open up to us by using their Masonic rituals to explain and defend the teachings of the Lodge in the light of Christian faith.


I find nothing that supports this in my dads Masonic Manual.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:18:05 PM
Tango1, and yet many Masons have been and are Christians.

I have no problem with you finding Masonry incompatible with your beliefs, but to copy and paste someone else's belief seems a little odd to me.


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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:18:16 PM
They are not immoral or doing anything illegal. Ours is a household that surrounds it all. Masonry, Shriners, Rainbows, Demolay and Eastern Star. All that do good works.

eta: my parents, brother, husband and daughters and myself are all Christians btw.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:19:58 PM

they are private with the details of their rituals - not about any work they might do
Well that makes much more sense then. I really don't care about the rituals, just wondered WHY it is kept a secret. WHY do they care if anyone knows what goes on? And I know it's because it's a private organization, but WHY?

I know, sounds like a 2 year-old.


It is an organization that allows members of all beliefs. I would have a very hard time accepting any explanation as to how that is bad.
I don't think Tango was saying it was "bad." She was just saying that it's not on the same wavelength as Christianity. And it's not. Not bad, just not Christian.



dynalady
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:23:41 PM

it's not on the same wavelength as Christianity. And it's not. Not bad, just not Christian.


It's not a Christian organization but it does recognize and accept members of the Christian faith. How is that not on the same wavelength? They don't tell members they can't be Christians or Christianity is wrong.







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Ouiser
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:23:58 PM

just not Christian.


Wrong

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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:25:14 PM

And what Christian website did you find that on?


http://www.scripturecatholic.com/freemasonfaq.html

If the information is inaccurate then tell me what is wrong.


have no problem with you finding Masonry incompatible with your beliefs, but to copy and paste someone else's belief seems a little odd to me.


I don't give the Masons enough thought to say if they are compatible or incompatible with my beliefs. Someone else started this thread and I remembered in the back of my mind somewhere that I had heard Masonry was incompatible with Christianity so I went Googling. Several people are upset with what I posted, but no one has told me what, if anything, is incorrect about what I pasted?

mstubble
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:26:16 PM

I don't think Tango was saying it was "bad." She was just saying that it's not on the same wavelength as Christianity. And it's not. Not bad, just not Christian.


It's not a religion but their rituals are filled with references to the Christian bible.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:26:36 PM

It's not a Christian organization but it does recognize and accept members of the Christian faith. How is that not on the same wavelength?


Did you read what I copied? It was pretty specific about why it is not on the same wavelength.

mstubble
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:28:49 PM

Did you read what I copied? It was pretty specific about why it is not on the same wavelength.


And did you read that my dads Masonic Manual does not support what you posted? I just pulled it out and looked through it.



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dynalady
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:31:02 PM
It's incorrect because what they promote is the acceptance of members of all beliefs. They don't say one is better or worse. They accept that different people believe different things and that is ok. It is not against Christianity. It is accepting of the fact that Christianity, or any other belief system, is not the only belief system there is, and that people of all beliefs can work together for a common purpose. Heresy at it's finest.







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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:32:26 PM
my grandfather was a mason, they are not evil, secretive, illegal non christians.

My grandparents were and the others currently are very active in the Daughters of America, Eastern Star etc.

And to whomever posted the random quote from google "Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God"

Heaven forbid, they believe in diversity and not craming their beliefs down other's throats, they MUST be evil!!


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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:35:47 PM

Several people are upset with what I posted, but no one has told me what, if anything, is incorrect about what I pasted?
Not upset at all.

I don't see the problem with them being "at odds" with Christianity, as you quote it. Most all religious groups are exclusive--and would naturally have problems with a group that is inclusive. No worries, that's just how it is. The Masons are not a religious group.





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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:42:23 PM
From what you pasted, Girl Scouting is incompatible with Christianity because it doesn't restrict membership to those who claim Catholicism is the one true faith, and has a secret friendship squeeze ritual, and you take an oath to try to live by the Girl Scout Law.

And I can see where someone would say, No, I take an oath only to this and that, and Girl Scouting, or being in a fraternity, or being a mason, is a distraction to my practice of Christianity. But to say hard and fast that all those famous masons were not good Christians because they hung out with each other and did some rituals doesn't make tons of sense to me.


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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:42:35 PM
This is the last thing I'll say about this because honestly, I don't have a dog in this fight so I don't really care, but some of you act like I posted something completely off the wall that you've never heard before. But if you do a Google search for Christianity and Freemasons you'll come up with hit after hit of websites that discuss why the 2 are at odds. I'll leave you with one more which lists Christian denomination that condemn Freemasonry, so obviously this isn't just the ranting of one random website.

http://www.godonthe.net/cme/links/masons.htm

Captain K
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:45:02 PM
It's sacred, not secret.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:49:51 PM

The whole idea of a "secret society" seems so Medieval to me,


Funny you should say that, because the way I understand it, the were organized during the dark ages when Christians weren't allowed to meet so they began to meet secretly. Thus, all the secrecy. I belong to Eastern Star since I come from a family of Masons. Definetly nothing immoral or illegal going on! Just carrying on tradition.

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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:53:13 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Gee we don't understand them, so they must be evil right? Grab the pitchforks and light up the stake, we's a gonna have a witch burnin' tonight!

Some of the posts in this thread crack me up, considering most of these people learned everything they know about the Masons from watching "National Treasure".


so true, so true

Again, only speaking from experience as a Rainbow girl, the organization was for Protestants only, they did exclude Catholics.

mstubble
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Posted: 3/18/2010 7:56:37 PM

This is the last thing I'll say about this because honestly, I don't have a dog in this fight so I don't really care, but some of you act like I posted something completely off the wall that you've never heard before. But if you do a Google search for Christianity and Freemasons you'll come up with hit after hit of websites that discuss why the 2 are at odds.


And I'm telling you that I have a copy of Masonic Manual and that the stuff you are finding on web with google isn't correct. The Catholic Church is the biggest critic of the Masons. They have also been the biggest critic of every other Christian religion.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:01:32 PM
My granny was an Eastern Star, and my father was a mason for a while. He stopped, but I think it was because with young children and being in law enforcement then running for Sheriff that he just didn't have the time.

Everyone in my family is Christian as well.



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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:08:24 PM
Isn't the Knights of Columbus just a Catholic version of the Masons?



nicegirl
BucketHead

PeaNut 371,231
April 2008
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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:11:20 PM

My question is, why does it bother anyone that they prefer to keep their rituals secret?


It doesn't bother me at all. However, I have a neighbor who was Mormon, that quit going to his church after he saw how similar the endowment ceremony was to some Mason ritual. He didn't say in detail what that was. But it bothered him quite a bit. I found that very interesting.



"I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." -Ronald Reagan


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Rumplesnat
PeaAddict

PeaNut 198,096
March 2005
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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:16:18 PM
A couple of years ago, a friend and I went to a crop at a Mason's Lodge. We stumbled upon a room that had some really bizarre things in it, including blindfolds, swords, top hats, taper candles and craziest of all: dress shirts with slits cut out on the chest. We joked that they looked like breastfeeding blouses!

It was extremely bizarre and a bit uncomfortable. I can't even begin to imagine what that stuff is used for. The blindfolds and shirts really got me.

marycain
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 290,201
January 2007
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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:29:42 PM
I don't know many Masons personally, but the work they do through their Children's Hospitals has blessed my family enormously. One of my great-nephews was born with very serious orthopedic problems, and it's thanks to the Shriners and their care that he is able to run and walk normally. I'll gladly donate to any group that is so passionately devoted to helping children.

thewrightway
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 3/18/2010 8:49:44 PM
But don't sorority's/fraternity's have secret rituals still? or is everything out in the open now?

I have a friend who is PEO - big time secret group too!! I would never think that she or the group are doing illegal or immoral things!


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